Hope Our Players Read this. Let's shut up ESPN

FROM Today's Daily Dime:


By Brett Hainline | Queen City Hoops/TrueHoop Network

Raptors at Bulls:
Playing at the same time as Charlotte, the Bulls go into the game knowing they must win to have a chance. All the Raptors are playing for is pride (and a new contract for Shawn Marion). The battle of '06 lottery picks in Bargnani and Tyrus Thomas is lopsided and the Bulls win. Bulls win (39-43, 0.5 games ahead)
Bobcats at Magic: The Magic have the 3-seed wrapped up and cannot catch the Celtics for 2; Orlando's starters play less than a quarter each and the Bobcats knock off the Magic bench for the playoff-clinching win. Bobcats win (39-43, tied for 8th -- Bobcats own tie-breaker with 2-1 season series edge)

Editor's note: We asked Brett Hainline of Queen City Hoops to spell out exactly how the Charlotte Bobcats, who stand two games behind the Chicago Bulls for 8th place in the Eastern Conference, might make the unlikely leap out of the lottery and into their first playoff berth. Here is their potential path to the playoffs:


With nine games remaining, the Bobcats have matched their franchise record for wins and would seem a lock to set a new record that is at least a couple tallies higher. This Charlotte team has beaten the Lakers and the Celtics. They've gone 5-2 in overtime games, showing improvement in clutch time where they used to fade. The Bobcats will have a winning record at home. But the season will still be a bit of a disappointment ...

If they don't make the playoffs. That is what the expectation around the Queen City became when Larry Brown was brought on as coach. Those expectations were ratcheted even higher with the various trades throughout the season that made the Bobcats a more complete (and more Larry Brown-ish) team. Barring Gerald Wallace's midseason rib-adjustment, they have been relatively healthy and improvement has been evident. But it hasn't been enough to draw the city in -- they want Cleveland (or Boston) in CLT for a couple of extra dates after the players would normally be on the golf course. And here is how that happens:

Lakers at Bobcats:
5-1. The Bobcats' record in their last 6 against the Lakers. Make it 6-1 with a payback game after the last one ended with Gerald Wallace in the hospital. Bobcats win (34-40, 1.5 games back)
Bulls at Pacers: Chicago has but 12 road wins this season and cannot add to it playing in a building where Boston, Atlanta, the Lakers, Houston, Miami, Orlando, Cleveland ... you get the idea ... have lost already this season. Bulls lose (36-40, 1 game ahead)


Bobcats at Celtics:
What goes up must come down -- the Bobcats do not have enough in the tank to travel to Boston and win following the game against the Lakers the night before. Bobcats lose (34-41, 1.5 games back)

Heat at Bobcats:
Dwyane Wade nearly comes up with a triple-double, falling just short in ... turnovers. Wade has a season high of 8 against the Kings had a 5 turnover game against Charlotte earlier this season. Bobcats win (35-41, 1 game back)

Nets at Bulls:
Brook Lopez goes for 30 and 15 in his late rush at the ROY trophy. Bulls lose (36-41, 0.5 games ahead)

Bobcats at Pistons:
Rasheed Wallace sees Larry Brown on the sideline and reverts back to championship form, leading the Pistons to victory. After the game, he also goes back in time, only answering "Both teams played hard." Bobcats lose (35-42, 1 game back)

76ers at Bobcats:
The Cats won in Philly a week and a half prior by out-rebounding the Sixers by 18. This time they do it by winning the battle of the boards by 10 and matching Philly in turnovers -- a problem for Charlotte against Philly, as they have averaged over 17 a game against them this season. Bobcats win (37-41, 0.5 games back)
Knicks at Bulls: Derrick Rose shows Mike D'Antoni what he missed out on by not waiting for the lottery results. His 25 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds carry the Bulls over the Knicks. Ben Gordon is seen crying at his locker after the game, mumbling something about seven seconds or less and a big payday. Bulls win (37-41, 1 game ahead)

76ers at Bulls:
The 76ers' pressure defense gives Rose fits (he has averaged 4 turnovers against Philly this season) and the Bulls cannot overcome all the fast break opportunities for Philadelphia. Bulls lose (37-42, 0.5 games ahead)

Bobcats at Thunder:
With Kevin Durant on the court, the Thunder have a defensive efficiency of about 110. Even the Bobcats can score against defense like that. On the other end, Gerald Wallace make life tough on the league's future scoring leader and shows the kind of all-around game Durantula should learn to emulate. Bobcats win (37-42, tied for 8th)

Bobcats at Bulls:
The Bobcats will have to contend with a late-night flight from a cornfield in the middle of Oklahoma while the Bulls have been sleeping at home after their Thursday game in the Windy City. Bobcats lose (37-43, 1 game back)

Bulls at Pistons:
Detroit remains in a precarious spot at 7th in the East, rarely more than a game or 2 ahead of the Bulls/Bobcats in 8th. For the two teams, all 3 games this year have gone to the home team -- the Pistons make it all 4. Bulls lose (38-43, 0.5 games ahead)
Bobcats at Nets: Through his UNC connections, Michael Jordan gets the Tar Heels to honor Vince Carter at halftime of this game ... in Chapel Hill. Vince is at the airport for the duration of the game, and the Bobcats capitalize. Bobcats win (38-43, tied for 8th)


Let's use this as motivation.  I mean surely we'er better than 2-5 through our last remaining games.  I know we laid an egg through 3 qtrs last game, but I swear they didn't watch us again.  The Pistons should be most afraid of losing the 8th spot, not the Bulls.



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