It's the Monday before the Lakers arrive for a Tuesday night game. Yesterday in Charlotte was sunny and breezy, perfect for wandering urban greenways and following park trails you normally wouldn't. It's the calm before Tuesday's sellout, when the Bobcats will need every bit of energy from the crowd to keep hot on Chicago and Detroit's heels for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.
Until then, here are the Bobcats and basketballiverse links from the past few days that caught my eye for whatever reason.
Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer -- I put Charlotte's playoff chances at 20 percent. The Bobcats have a large deficit to make up given that six of the team's final nine games are on the road. But that's 20 percent more of a chance than the Bobcats have had in their first four seasons. (Note to Mr. Fowler: Your 20 percent guess comes with no reasoning. People who have actually put thought into this put the Bobcats' odds at 14.8% based on a detailed analysis of this season's performance. I have neither the ability nor the time to make that analysis, so I point to the people who do instead of guessing.)
Howard Beck of the New York Times -- There seemed to be no room in Brown’s whirring mind to contemplate satisfaction or vindication. "You’re a coach, you’re supposed to do a job," he said. "Every team you ever coach, you hope that they win a championship or compete for a championship. The thing that I’m excited about is the players are getting better, and it’s been a phenomenal experience, a real positive one, being around this group."
Andy Katz of ESPN.com -- Duke didn't waste any time sulking over its Sweet 16 loss to Villanova Thursday night in Boston. Instead, the Blue Devils picked up the most coveted transfer available when the nation's top scoring freshman, Seth Curry of Liberty, decided to transfer to Duke for next season.
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop -- Saying you want to keep basketball information locked in its 1982 state is like standing around in some small town a century ago, seeing the first Model T ever to roll into town, and swearing your lifelong allegiance to commuting on horseback. It's not that the Model T is so magnificent -- it's an early model, rife with flaws. It's just that it's so blatantly the way things are headed. They will figure this stats thing out, just like they figured the car thing out. (I'm firmly in the "statistics improve understanding of anything in life" camp. There's a reason insurance adjusters use actuarial tables. Individual observation can't beat properly analyzing mounds of data.)
via Chris Littmann of FirstCuts -- (Wow. Just... wow. By the way, did Rick Pitino realize that being in commercials is a great recruiting tool? The Christian Laettner one was better.)