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Poll results, potential victims, and putting an end to the Pacers

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As further evidence of the withering rivalry between the Pistons and Pacers, Detroit Bad Boys readers did an about face in our most recent poll, which asked you to choose the most desireable first-round opponent for the Pistons.

While Chicago received the largest portion of votes (45%), probably due to the Pistons' 4-0 record against the Bulls during the regular season, a large number of you apparently would like to see the Pistons to put the final nail in the Pacers' coffin (32%, second most in the poll).

I gotta say, I'm with you on this one. Nothing quite beats a downtrodden Jeff Foster. But this desire to stomp the Pacers is in stark contrast to the mood around here last month, when the Pacers were voted as the toughest of the potential first round matchups. Methinks the newfound confidence stems from the Pistons' 98-73 beatdown of the Pacers on national TV. Or perhaps my repeated "nobody in the Eastern Conference has a [freaking] chance!" tirades are finally gaining some traction.

Either way, I'm secretly very happy that we won't have to see Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards before, at the earliest, the second round (if at all). With the 'Zards win over the Bucks last night, they have removed themselves from the running for the 8 seed.

Here's the current standings leading into tonight's regular season finale:

5. Washington (41-40); 1 game remaining, tonight at Detroit
6. Indiana (40-41); 1 game remaining, tonight v. Orlando
7. Chicago (40-41); 1 game remaining, tonight v. Toronto
8. Milwaukee (40-42) Regular season is finished

Rather than strain my over-caffeinated brain, I'll let Blog-a-Bull explain the tiebreak situation from a Chicago fan's point of view:

If Bulls win (Bulls guaranteed higher seed than Milwaukee):

AND Washington wins AND Indiana wins:
Washington is 42-40, Bulls/Indiana are tied at 41-41
Indiana wins tiebreaker (division record)
Bulls are the 7th seed

Washington loses, Indiana wins:
Bulls/Indiana/Washington are tied at 41-41
Bulls win tiebreaker (highest winning percentage in games among the 3 teams)
Bulls are 5th seed

Washington loses, Indiana loses:
Bulls/Washington are tied at 41-41, Indiana is at 40-42
Bulls win tiebreaker (head-to-head versus Washington)
Bulls are 5th seed

If Bulls lose (Bulls guaranteed lower seed than Washington):

Indiana loses
Bulls/Indiana/Milwaukee are tied at 40-42
Bulls lose tiebreaker (lowest division record)
Bulls are 8th seed
I cry myself to sleep

Indiana wins
Indiana at 41-41, Bulls/Milwaukee tied at 40-42
Bulls lose tiebreaker (lower division record)
Bulls are 8th seed
I cry myself to sleep

So, from a Piston fan's point of view, the most important take-away from Blog-a-Bull's explanation above: Bulls fans want no part of the Pistons in the first round, what with all the "cry myself to sleep" stuff. But what we can also decipher is this:

If you voted for the Bulls as the Pistons' first-round opponent, then root against the Bulls tonight.

If you voted for the Pacers, root for the Bulls and against the Pacers.

And if you voted for the Bucks, well then you're just throwing your vote away.
(All 12 of you.)

All tomorrow's parties [Blog-a-Bull]