Playoff picture for Pacers hinges on final day of National Basketball Association season

After he led the league in blocks per game last season, Whiteside officially clinched this year's rebounding crown on Wednesday night with a monstrous 14.1 per game average. "I don't know if I've ever wanted something more for a team", an emotional coach Spoelstra said during his postgame press conference. This is what I enjoy.

Miami finished tied with Chicago at 41-41, but the Bulls were the team that earned the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot because they won the season series over the Heat 2-1.

RAPTORS 98, CAVALIERS 83: In Cleveland, Jonas Valanciunas made his first career 3-pointer and the Toronto Raptors closed the regular season with a win over the Cavaliers, who didn't play their "Big 3" All-Stars so they're playoff ready.

Bulls PF Bobby Portis is shooting 60.5 percent from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, over the last five games.

Here's the full schedule for the first round, tipping off Saturday afternoon.

The Bulls need a victory against the Nets and they will also qualify for the playoffs. "Now it's about winning some games".

The strategy worked well against the lowly Nets, who benched a half-dozen players in their final game. We've got guys, leaders with Jimmy and Rondo, myself, other guys, Niko [Mirotic], Robin [Lopez]. The Bulls' last win by 47 or more came in February 1991 versus the Kings (129-82; Michael Jordan scored 34 points). "We're all right. We're not anxious about who we're playing, we have to focus in on ourselves and play the best Bulls basketball that we can", Butler said.

When asked about augmenting this group, Atkinson said, "I'm sure that I have a list that's utopian". "Our backs were against the wall".

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"It gives us a great opportunity to look at our young players, guys that are fighting to be in this league".

"It is what it is", Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said before tipoff. Bobby Portis had 12 points and nine rebounds. The Nets were outrebounded 62-48. So it should come as no surprise that the Nets are doing that the final game of the season. Things are bit more farcical with the Nets - a team that is 20-61 with no more games to play - "resting" three players and having three others out with various injuries. Guess we'll all just have to tune in and see what happens. We have to improve as it was clear tonight.

Miami needed a victory and a loss by either IN or Chicago to reach the postseason.

The Spurs are in the playoffs for the 20th consecutive year, by far the longest active streak in the National Basketball Association.

Cleveland can still be No. 1 with a win and a Boston loss. Whether we were playing well, then we were playing bad, whatever the heck was going on, at the end of the day, you want yourself in a position to make the playoffs.

Forwards Quincy Acy, guard Sean Kilpatrick and guard Joe Harris will sit out against the Bulls with injuries, while center Brook Lopez, forward Trevor Booker and guard Jeremy Lin are getting rest.

"As a competitor, I understand it", Nets coach Kenny Atkinson told media in Chicago. No. 1 seed on the road, we'll take it, we're in there. "So we're going to do that, and hopefully get off to a good start and play well".

"We're in there", Butler said.

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