We have our eight Eastern Conference teams for the 2013 NBA Playoffs -- at least unofficially. When the Bucks knocked off the Toronto Raptors at home on Friday night, they clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker and moved 10 games ahead of the association's Canadian contingent for the No. 8 seed. For all intents and purposes, it's over for Toronto. The Philadelphia 76ers are a bit closer in the standings, but Doug Collins has no faith in his team and Andrew Bynum may not play at all this year.
With the Bucks in the bracket, now the goal is to move out of the eighth slot to avoid an unwinnable series against LeBron James and the Miami Heat. That means they will need to catch the Boston Celtics, who have actually played better without Rajon Rondo in recent weeks. Milwaukee owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Celtics, but Boston has a particularly soft schedule down the stretch. The Bulls and Nets are playing poorly of late, but it will take a mircale to catch either of those teams.
It's not just about whether the Bucks can move up, it's about which team they may get to play. Dan Sinclair and Jake McCormick joined me to talk about potential matchup against the Indiana Pacers or New York Knicks in addition to the playoff points discussed above.
Finally, we can't bring ourselves to re-animate the Fear The Deer vibe for this new playoff push. FTD conjures up tainted memories of Andrew Bogut's greusome injury, and the greusome contracts for John Salmons and Drew Gooden during the off-season. We need something new.
Our ideas are bad. There's no way around it. However, we hope our failures inspire something better from you. Let's think up something worthwhile for the stretch run.
Bonus: Jake retells the fascinating tale of why the Behind the Buck Pass blog had to change to its current name.