The Chicago Bulls will have an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, and their opponents in the game are doing them a huge favor as they’re resting some of their best players.
According to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon, the Nets will rest both Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez for the game, which is the final game of the 2016-17 regular season.
Lopez, averaging 20.5 points per game, and Lin, averaging 14.5 points per game, are the Nets' two highest scorers this season, and not having them in the lineup will be a huge detriment against a Bulls squad that's coming off a 47-point win over Orlando on Monday night.
Trevor Booker will also skip the game to rest, and injuries will keep Quincy Acy (ankle), Joe Harris (shoulder), and Sean Kilpatrick (hamstring) will also miss the game against the Bulls.
With the absences, the Nets will be short four of their top five scorers in the game. It's unclear why the Nets are resting Booker, Lopez, and Lin, as they've already sealed having the NBA's worst record.
If the Bulls are able to beat the shorthanded Nets squad, then they will clinch a playoff berth. They will either lock into the seventh or eighth spot in the standings, depending on the result of the Indiana Pacers’ game on Wednesday night.
If the Bulls lose the game, they could still make the postseason, depending on the outcome of the Miami Heat game vs. the Washington Wizards. If the Heat win that game and the Bulls lose, then Chicago would be eliminated from the postseason for the second consecutive year.