2014 NBA schedule: Bulls and Wizards duke it out for playoff standings

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday's game between Chicago and Washington will help tamp down the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The playoff races in the NBA are coming down to the wire, with teams out West playing musical chairs and the squads in the East looking to stop shuffling about in the middle of the conference. There are a few sweet games to go along with the sour this weekend, so check out which games to watch for during Saturday's hors d'oeuvres platter in the NBA.

Appetizer: Charlotte Bobcats vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

7:30 p.m. ET (League Pass)

The Bobcats are in the playoffs. Maybe. Beating the Cavaliers on Saturday will clinch a playoff seed for Charlotte, which is crucial considering they are just 4.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 7 seed and have six games to go. If they can pull out a win on the road, getting the best of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters will put their minds at ease as they jump into the postseason for the first time since 2010.

Cleveland didn't do themselves any favors by losing to the Hawks on Friday night, pushing them further away from any hope of playoff contention. Now, the best role the scrappy boys from Ohio can play is that of spoiler. Save for their disastrous loss to the Hawks, the Cavs have been playing well lately. They are 5-2 over their last seven games and have shown the ability to play tough down the stretch.

Main Course: Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards

7 p.m. ET (League Pass)

Chicago is looking to continue their dominant run to end the season in the East with a win against the Wizards. D.J. Augustin has been scoring like crazy, dropping 33 points on Mar. 30 and dishing out game-high assists in four of the Bulls' last seven games. If Chicago can grab a win on the road, they will continue their battle with Toronto for the No. 3 spot in the conference.

For Washington, it's going to be tough to get a win, even at home. They are on the second night of an emotional back-to-back after beating the New York Knicks on Friday on a last-second shot by Bradley Beal. The Wizards have clinched a playoff berth, but would like to make up ground on the Brooklyn Nets as they vie for the No. 5 seed. Washington hasn't lost a game to the Bulls all season, and it's possible the start of an in-conference rivalry is born as the season wanes.

Dessert: Boston Celtics vs. Detroit Pistons

7:30 p.m. ET (League Pass)

This late in the season, there are two categories of games: those which decide playoff standings, and those which decide ping-pong ball selections. This game is the latter, with the Celtics secretly going on a six-game losing streak that has them tumbling down the league standings. There's no doubt they will have a very high lottery pick come summer.

Detroit isn't doing much better, having lost 10 of their last 12 games on their way to the eighth-worst record in the NBA. It's a wonder the Pistons' record isn't worse than it is, but the natural talent Joe Dumars has stockpiled forced them to be good enough at rebounding and scoring to grab easy wins. Saturday night's game will be orange sorbet for those who don't really like oranges. Or sorbet. But hey, free orange sorbet!

Other Games

All times Eastern

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 8:30 p.m.

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