Heat-Bobcats Playoff Preview: Five Key Factors

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oppositesWell, this series brings together two polar opposites.

On the one hand we have the Miami Heat going for their three-peat, striving to get as close to perfection as possible before they move on to the second round. On the other hand we have the “just happy to be here” Bobcats, who have never won a playoff series in their existence and aren’t about to start now.

The Bobcats are listed at 250-1 to win the championship, the same odds as the sad sack Atlanta Hawks.

We all know that Charlotte will be lucky to win even a single game, don’t we?

Tweet of the Night: Paul George tries politicking for more free throws

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Paul georgeThe Indiana Pacers, finally, brought home a big win.

During a two month slump that has caused the league, media, fans and Pacers themselves to question their capability, Sunday’s 102-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder should help them sleep easy.

At least for a night.

With the win, the Pacers positioned themselves to successfully claim home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. Despite Friday’s crucial loss at Miami, because the Heat slipped up against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, the Pacers control their own destiny.   

May: Frank Vogel is Glad He Is Not a New Jersey Devil

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aprilfoolsBack on April Fools Day, Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser, the hosts of ESPN’s popular ‘Pardon The Interruption,’ opened the show with a segment speculating that Larry Bird was about to come down and replace Frank Vogel as the head coach of the reeling Indiana Pacers.

They talked about how the team was sliding and that something needed to be done. Bird, who had coached the Pacers before – albeit more than a decade ago – had been critical of the team, saying it needed to be tougher.

Then, after tantalizing its viewers with this possible coup d’etat, Wilbon and Kornheiser announced that it was all an April Fools Day joke.

Hmmmm.

Here’s the thing about April Fools Day ruses: They only work if there’s a degree of believability to them. Had Wilbon and Kornheiser announced that Larry Brown was coming back to coach the Pacers, and leaving SMU, well . . . OK, that’s probably not a good example. But you get the drift. The reason the joke worked was because it was credible.

Nothing has changed in the last nine days to make it any less credible; the Pacers are 2-2 heading into Friday night’s biggie in Miami.

PODCAST: Better to Finish 2nd than 1st in Eastern Conference?

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Would you sacrifice the possibility of hosting a Game 7 at home in the Eastern Conference finals if it meant a smoother path toward getting to those Eastern Conference finals?

That is a question the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat have to be asking themselves with seven days left in the regular season.

Tweet of the Day: Dirk Nowitzki Grateful For Encouragement

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Tuesday night Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki moved past Oscar Robertson on the NBA career scoring list with an 19-foot jump shot at the start of the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz en route to a 95-83 victory.

Nowitizki scored 21 points, moving him to 10th among the all-time scorers’ list with 26,714 points thus far in his career.

Many players took time to congratulate Dirk on his career accomplishment last night.

One player who didn’t get the chance to congratulate him Tuesday night was Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, who was busy in a losing effort to the Brooklyn Nets.

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