Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Sunday, April 6, the morning after the Charlotte Bobcats clinched just their second playoff berth in franchise history.
The Bobcats’ 96-94 overtime win at Cleveland pushed Charlotte above .500 for just the second time this season and clinched a playoff berth, the franchise’s first since 2010.
The franchise is in its final season as the Bobcats; Charlotte will take back the Hornets moniker in 2014-15.
Pretty heady stuff for a franchise that just two seasons ago set an NBA record for the worst winning percentage in a season when the Bobcats were just 7-59 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.
First-year head coach Steve Clifford wasn’t a splashy hire; only the hardest of hardcore NBA fans even knew who Steve Clifford was when he was announced as Charlotte’s new head coach last spring.
He was a long-time assistant coach, a guy who had been on the bench somewhere for 30 years at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.
“This is a significant accomplishment for our group of guys and it puts us in a different place in the league,” Clifford told reporters after the game Saturday night. (h/t ESPN.com) “The guys in the locker room are excited—and they should be—because we’ve got a good group of guys and a group of guys who are truly deserving.”
That leaves just one more playoff spot available in the East, with the Hawks (33-42) holding a one-game lead over the Knicks (33-44). Cleveland and Detroit are still mathematically alive, but hope is flickering.
The Daily NBA Fix will deliver highlights, game capsules, the top and bottom five players, the dreaded Goose Egg, Clean and Sober and Ironman awards, we’ll recap who’s circling the drain, there will be some interesting pieces of relevant (and not-so-relevant) information and we’ll look at today’s daily lines for those people who like to wager a buck or two.
Check out the highlights below from the night that was, then get into the game capsules (home teams in CAPS).