The Milwaukee Bucks understand what they must do to clinch their first postseason berth since the 2009-10 season. The magic number to claim a playoff spot and the path to get there have both been revealed.
Milwaukee is currently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, with the Philadelphia 76ers several games behind them in the ninth seed. The magic number is six in order for the Bucks to secure the eighth spot in the standings. With 15 games to go in the regular season, this means Milwaukee’s wins and Philadelphia’s losses must make up any combination of six to mathematically eliminate the 76ers from contention.
The Bucks will take on the Indiana Pacers, who are the Central division leaders and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, Friday night. This is a game most people would not expect Milwaukee to win. However, Indiana has only lost two games to Central division opponents this seaso, and they both came against the Bucks.
Milwaukee will win the season series against Indiana with a victory, which will do wonders for their confidence if the two teams meet in the playoffs.
After the Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks, the Bucks will face the 76ers on Wednesday, which could put a huge damper in Philadelphia’s postseason dreams.
Milwaukee is at the point right now where clinching a playoff berth should not be considered the top of the mountain this season. The Bucks must continue to win games down the stretch so that they can leap over the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics in the standings. The obvious reason for this is so they do not have to face the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.