Pacers’ season comes down to final night

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CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls and Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers chase down a loose ball at the United Center on December 26, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With Atlanta’s win over Charlotte Tuesday night, the Hawks are now locked into the five seed in the NBA Eastern Conference and the Milwaukee Bucks own the six seed.

Now, three teams will battle for two open spots. The Pacers, Bulls, and Heat all play at home at 8 p.m., hosting the Hawks, Nets, and Wizards, respectively.

For the Pacers to make the playoffs, they need one of three things to happen:

1) A win over the Hawks

2) A Bulls loss to the Nets

3) A Heat loss to the Wizards.

If the Pacers win OR if all three teams lose, the Blue and Gold will get the seven seed. If the Pacers lose AND the Bulls and Heat split (one wins and one loses), then Indiana will get the eight seed. If the Pacers lose AND BOTH the Bulls and Heat win, then the Pacers season will end.

The seven seed will play the two seed while the eight seed will play the one seed in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics and Cavaliers are still battling for that No. 1 overall seed. Boston holds it now, and can secure it with a win over the Bucks OR a Cleveland loss to the Raptors. The Cavs take over the top spot if they win AND the Celtics lose.