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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Thibs: Bulls' plan the same vs. Bobcats

By Nick Friedell

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't want to change his team's routine as it gets set for the regular-season finale Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler isn't concerned with whom the Bulls will play in the first round.
The Bulls' playoff seeding is still up in the air -- they could end up as the 3-seed if they win and the New York Knicks beat the Toronto Raptors -- but Thibodeau said he isn't concerned about playing for a seed as much as he wants to keep his team in a good rhythm before the playoffs begin.

"We're not changing," he said. "So we got our normal rotation we're going to play. We're playing to win. When you look at where our guys are minutes-wise, total minutes-wise, health-wise, that's what we should do."

The ideal scenario for the Bulls if they lose to the Bobcats: The Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That would mean the Bulls would lock themselves into the No. 4 seed and would face the Wizards in the first round.

The Wizards were 2-1 against the Bulls in the regular season, but the Nets have a veteran-laden team that took the Bulls to seven games last season. The Wizards are a young, untested team in the playoffs.

In the long term, it would set up a potential second-round matchup between the winner of the Indiana Pacers-Atlanta Hawks series. This is important because it would mean the Bulls would avoid a potential showdown with the Miami Heat until the conference finals, assuming they were to advance.

No matter which team the Bulls face, their confidence doesn't seem to have wavered much.

"It really don't matter who we play," Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler said. "We think we can beat anybody, so whoever we match up against, we're going to take that matchup and try to get through them."

Thibodeau admitted he can't remember a season-ending day that has had this much intrigue.

"It seems like it's a lot," he said. "I think it's good for the league with so many things up for grabs so it makes it interesting."