Hornets daily playoff primer

From now until the start of the playoffs, we’ll be giving you a look at the Charlotte Hornets road to the NBA Playoffs in our daily playoff primer series, and taking a look at the Hornets magic number to clinch, a look at some of the games that could affect the Hornets in the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division standings, and the remaining games left on the schedule for Charlotte.

Magic number: 2, any combination of Charlotte Hornets wins or Chicago Bulls losses that equal up to two, would lock up a playoff berth for the Hornets, giving them their 10th playoff appearance overall(since 1993), and their third in the last two seasons.  Both teams were idle last night, but with Atlanta and Miami both losing to Toronto and the L.A. Lakers respectively, Charlotte managed to pick up a game in the Southeast Division standings and coincidentally, the Hornets find themselves in a three-way tie for fourth in the Eastern Conference and are tied for second in the Southeast Division with the Heat.

Key games to watch: Chicago Bulls @ Houston Rockets(7:00 p.m.): This is the game that Hornets fans should pay attention to this evening, as the Chicago Bulls pay a visit to Houston to face Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets.  Houston is in a battle for playoff position themselves in the Western Conference playoff race, while Chicago meanwhile is fighting for their playoff lives in the Eastern Conference race.

Remaining games left for CHA: 8(3 home vs. PHI, BKN, and ORL, and 5 away at CLE, TOR, NYK, WAS, and BOS).

Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers: 52-22
  2. Toronto Raptors: 50-24
  3. Atlanta Hawks: 45-31
  4. Boston Celtics: 43-31
  5. Miami Heat: 43-31
  6. CHARLOTTE HORNETS: 43-31
  7. Detroit Pistons: 40-35
  8. Indiana Pacers: 39-35

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In the hunt:

  1. Chicago Bulls: 37-37
  2. Washington Wizards: 36-39

Southeast Division Standings

  1. Atlanta Hawks: 45-31
  2. Miami Heat: 43-31
  3. CHARLOTTE HORNETS: 43-31; Trails ATL by 1 game in division and tied for 2nd with MIA.
  4. Washington Wizards: 36-39
  5. Orlando Magic: 31-43