Bulls will face Hawks in play-in game on April 17

Bulls will face Hawks in play-in game on April 17 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

Mark your calendars and check your play-in fever temperature.

The Chicago Bulls are locked into the 9 seed vs. 10 seed matchup against the Atlanta Hawks to be played on April 17. That's thanks to the Philadelphia 76ers victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, which guaranteed that the Bulls can't climb to the eighth seed.

What's still at stake is the location of the game, although the Bulls' magic number to clinch the ninth seed and a game at the United Center dropped to three with the Hawks' loss to the Nuggets on Saturday. That's any combination of three Bulls victories or Hawks losses over the five remaining Bulls games and four remaining Hawks games.

The Bulls own the tiebreaker over the Hawks by virtue of winning the season series 2-1, although the Hawks won the final matchup in convincing fashion on April 1 at the United Center.

The Bulls defeated the Hawks 118-113 at the United Center on Dec. 26 and 136-126 in Atlanta on Feb. 12.

Last season, the Bulls played both play-in games on the road. They defeated the Raptors in Toronto before traveling to Miami, where they led late before the Heat rallied---and then advanced all the way to the NBA Finals.

Coach Billy Donovan and players have talked about the desire to play that first play-in game at home this season. A victory in that game would bring a matchup against the loser of the 7 seed vs. 8 seed game on April 19 on the road.

If the Bulls won both play-in games, they'd face the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Boston swept the three-game season series from the Bulls.

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