After 81 games, it comes down to 48 minutes for the regular season for the Bulls.

The Bulls have Boston to thank for being able to control their own destiny in tomorrow’s season finale against Atlanta.

When Boston’s Jae Crowder hit a corner jumper with less than a second remaining, combined with Evan Turner blocking the last attempt from the Raptors, it put the Bulls a full game ahead of the Raptors for third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

If the Bulls earn their 50th win at the United Center Wednesday night, it clinches a matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, as opposed to a possible rematch with the Washington Wizards, who dumped the Bulls in five games last spring.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

If the Bulls lose tomorrow, it opens the door for the Raptors to reclaim the third spot with a win over the Charlotte Hornets. In the event both teams finish with identical 49-33 records, the Raptors hold the tiebreaker due to being a division winner.

The Bulls are already guaranteed home court advantage in the first round, and one wonders if they have an eye toward a possible second-round matchup against Eastern Conference favorites Cleveland, if they sit in the third spot.

If they slide to fourth, they could hold off from a matchup with the Cavaliers until the conference finals, but face some old demons starting Saturday.


Destiny controlled.