Good morning. Let's basketball.
BOBCATS! After beating the Wizards in OT, Charlotte controls its own destiny for the No. 6 seed. My question is whether you really want to face to Raptors or Bulls instead of the Pacers right now. It's a question that'd have been crazy even a month ago, but ... you know.
Speaking of which, I looked at the Pacers' road woes in Wednesday's Hook. No team drops off more on the road.
ONE MORE FACTOR: Indiana edged the Bucks despite sitting all five starters. Miami lost to the Grizzlies. So currently the Heat are in No. 2. And no, the Bobcats nor the Wizards want to face the Heat early.
Yes, the Pacers still might get the No. 1 seed after all of this.
DUNK CITY: The Thunder beat the Clippers to pretty much lock up the No. 2 seed, but DeAndre Jordan crammed down some awesome dunks, so ... who's the real winner, huh?
WEST DEATHRACE: Memphis and Phoenix both won. As of today, Dallas and Phoenix are in by the skin of their teeth. But the Suns play both teams in a back-to-back this weekend.
EAST FAIL-OFF: The Hawks won, making a Knicks playoff bid ever less likely. New York is two back with four to go.
MARC GASOL IS MADE OF MAGIC: This pass is just incredible.
OH, MAN: Eric Bledsoe deflects a Jeff Withey pass ... right into ref Bennie Adams' head. It then bounces right back to Withey. I am so sorry for laughing maniacally at your misfortune, Mr. Adams.
DIRK IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT: How much further up the all-time scoring list can Dirk Nowitzki (now No. 10) go? Marc Stein's Dirk piece was also quite enjoyable.
EMBIID'S IN: Joel Embiid made it official: he will subject himself to being selected by some horrible team in June.
REVENGE OF HOTHLANTA: So Tuesday's Pistons-Hawks game wasn't broadcast by either teams' network because it was a game rescheduled due to Hothlanta. League Pass broadcasted the game by pointing a camera at the Jumbotron and using a remote announcer. The results were amazing, writes Seth Rosenthal.
DEFENSIVE 'DALA OF THE YEAR: John Schuhmann highlights how good Andre Iguodala has been defensively.
ONE WAY OF PUTTING IT: The Cavs have created more questions than answers this season.
SOUTH BEACH TO SOUTH DAKOTA: Scott Cacciola with a wonderful story on the strong affiliate relationship the Heat have built with Sioux Falls Skyforce.
PACERS' PROBLEMS: Indiana's starting five has played a ton and might be tired.
IT IS HALFTIME IN THE GAME OF LIFE: Just an incredible ABA tale from San Antonio in 1974. An evangelist preacher had booked the Spurs' arena for a week, and wouldn't give it up when San Antonio's playoff series interfered ... unless the Spurs let him do a halftime sermon in Game 6. So he did.
DERRICK GORDON: Kate Fagan with a brilliant piece on Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay male Division I basketball player. Also check out Cyd Zeigler's interview with Gordon on OutSports.
TIME FOR A VACATION: FXX will show all 522 episodes of The Simpsons during a 12-day marathon in August. It just so happens that August will be the slowest month for NBA writers this summer. HMMM, indeed.
Happy Thursday. (It's already Thursday!) See you next time.