The Milwaukee Bucks are currently within one game of the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference after demolishing the Charlotte Bobcats 131-102 Monday night. With only nine games to go in the regular season, there is no question the seventh seed is going to come down to the wire.
If Milwaukee does clinch the seventh seed, they must send plenty of praise to the Minnesota Timberwolves for upsetting the Boston Celtics Monday night. Boston has now lost two games in a row, and with only eight left on their schedule, they cannot afford any more stinkers.
All the Bucks have to do is make sure they are at least tied with the Celtics when the regular season officially comes to a close on April 17. Since Milwaukee defeated Boston in three of their four contests, including the season opener, the Bucks own the tie breaker. However, winning at least six of their next nine games is easier said than done.
Milwaukee still has to face the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder on the road. They will also have to play the Denver Nuggets at home on April 15. If you have not noticed, these five games are against heavily favored playoff contenders. The Bucks will get a few games against easier opponents, but there really is no such thing this late in the season. This is because players are trying to end their season on a high note to make sure the organization remembers who they are in the offseason.
Why is it so important that Milwaukee gets ahead of Boston in the standings? As everyone has figured out by now, no one wants to play Miami in the first round of the playoffs. There is no question they are favored to repeat as champions, and there is no way the NBA will allow their cash cow to get knocked out in the first round.
The Bucks will begin their uphill battle Wednesday night when they face the Timberwolves at home.