Congratulations Philadelphia 76ers, you made the playoffs.
As your reward, I’d like you to meet Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.
At least they are going to the dance. The 76ers went in and beat the New Jersey Nets 105-87, spoiling the party for the Nets last ever game in New Jersey. The win secures Philadelphia the eight seed and means the Bucks will go fishing early this year. (Philly plays Milwaukee on Wednesday but that game is meaningless now.)
Much like this whole season has gone the Sixers, they made this clinching game harder than it had to be by falling apart late — they led by 15 at the half and just one with less than four minutes to go but hung on to get the win. Thaddeus Young saved the Sixers bacon with five late field goals.
While mathematically the Sixers could catch the Knicks for the seven seed, the likely outcome here is they are eighth and get the Bulls in the first round. Chicago has not been firing on all cylinders lately and is trying to re-integrate Rose back into the offense. Which means maybe Philly can win one.
Still, they got into the dance.