The Chicago Bulls took on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in the NBA play-in tournament with their season on the line. Coby White stepped up big time for the Bulls and led the team to an easy 131-116 victory behind a 42-point performance. The Hawks are now done, and Chicago is moving on to play the Miami Heat on Friday night in Miami. The winner of the game will go on to the playoffs to play the Boston Celtics, and the loser is done.

Miami almost locked up a playoff bid on Wednesday when they hit the road to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The Heat got out to a big lead early in the game, but Philadelphia was able to climb back in it and make it a close game down the stretch. The Heat had a lot of chances to get the win, but they couldn't get it done.

Unfortunately for the Heat, they will be without their star, Jimmy Butler, in their play-in game against the Bulls. Butler went down with a MCL injury against the 76ers, and he is now expected to miss multiple weeks. If Miami does win against Chicago, they will be still be without Butler for a good chunk of the playoffs at least. That is a huge blow for the Heat and it is going to be difficult for them to make noise in the postseason without him.

The Heat will have to advance to the playoffs without Jimmy Butler. It won't be easy as the Bulls looked good on Wednesday, but Miami is at home and they are slight favorites. This should be a tight matchup, and it should be full of intensity as it is a do or die battle. Here is why the Bulls will find a way to get it done on the road and punch their ticket to the playoffs.

DeMar DeRozan and Coby White

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) drives to the basket against the Atlanta Hawks during the first quarter during a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at United Center.
© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls duo showed out on Wednesday night against the Hawks to keep their season alive. Coby White dropped 42 points and DeMar DeRozan dropped 22 points. Both players came out aggressive and got out to fast starts to help grow the Chicago lead, and that was huge. If White and DeRozan can keep playing like this, the Bulls can make some noise and get past the Heat.

Expect them both to have another big game. These two have stepped up all year long for the Bulls, and they simply don't shy away from the big moment. This game is the biggest one of the season for them, and they also have a sour taste in their mouth from losing to the Heat in last year's play-in tournament. They are going to be ready.

No Jimmy Butler for the Heat

It's a shame that Jimmy Butler got hurt on Wednesday and that he is unable to play in this game. You want to see both teams be able to compete at full strength, but it can be hard for that to happen this time of year. The Heat will be without Butler, and that is going to make things difficult for them.

Butler is the leader of this team and he is known for his special performances in the postseason. There is a sense of comfortably for Miami when Butler is on the floor, and they might be a bit out of sorts without him. It'll be an adjustment for sure, and it will make it hard for the Heat to win this one.

The Bulls and Heat will get things going at 7:00 ET on Friday night, and Miami is currently favored by 1.5 points.