Bulls to open playoffs vs. Cavaliers

The Chicago Bulls will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The Bulls split the four-game season series with the Cavs with Chicago winning the most recent game on April 8 in the United Center as LeBron James sat out.

"The guys who have been there before know what it's like," coach Vinny Del Negro said after the Bulls clinched the eighth seed with a win in Charlotte. "Obviously, it's a huge challenge.

"But it's time to give them a break and let them enjoy today, because they earned it."

The series opens Saturday in Cleveland, and Game 2 is Monday. The series shifts to Chicago for Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 on Sunday.

Cleveland is the No. 1 seed while the Bulls had to win their last three games to edge the Toronto Raptors for the final playoff spot.

It's the second consecutive season the Bulls made the playoffs under Del Negro.

"It's not about me," Del Negro said. "It's about the players.

"I'm very proud of the way the guys hung together all year through a lot of things and gutted it out."

Del Negro said he and his staff immediately will being working on a gameplan for Cleveland.

"They're worn down," Del Negro said of his players. "We have a bunch of injuries."