Last night, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Celtics by 16 points, 97-81. In doing so, they effectively clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time since the 1997-98 season โ€” Chicago would have to lose the remainder of its games and the HeatCeltics would have to win the rest of its schedule for that not to be the case.

Derrick Rose's play is by no means the sole reason why the Bulls are here, but when he pulls off moves like this casual floater last night, or like this absurd crossover drive through the entire Boston lineup, it's a joy to watch. The ball always seems like it's going nowhere until it goes exactly where he intended it to go. He had an easy 30 last night. Chicago is rolling now, with 17 wins in 19 games, and they'll have earned the necessary confidence to beat whoever picks up the No. 2 spot in the East. The Bulls are even with the Celtics this year, and a perfect 3-0 against the Heat. They're also 35-5 at home on the season. With four games at home in each series, the Bulls should get the corner of the glass whenever they need it.

Bulls romp over Celtics 97-81 in playoff atmosphere [Chicago Tribune]

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