Charlotte Bobcats Clinch Playoff Berth Despite Irving's Career-High 44 Points

Jim Cavan@@JPCavanContributor IApril 5, 2014

Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters, right, fouls Charlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson in overtime of an NBA basketball game Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Mark Duncan

The Eastern Conference playoff picture is starting to take its final shape.

With their 96-94 overtime win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night, the Charlotte Bobcats officially clinched their second playoff berth in franchise history—and their first since 2009-10.

Charlotte was able to survive despite what can only be described as a bonkers basketball game by one Kyrie Irving, who bested his own personal single-game scoring record.

I suppose you would like us to explain why Kyrie Irving is upset, huh?

It all stemmed from comments made by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who, in an interview with Cavs: The Blog, reported hearing murmurings from Irving’s camp.

I suppose you would like us to tell you which murmurings. Fair enough. Here’s Windhorst:

The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired.

Oh, thatll blow right over!

Anyway, you can read Irving’s response to this whole thing—which is pretty interesting and incendiary in and of itself—over at For The Win, to whom we doff our caps.

But lest we allow more Cleveland melodrama to steal time from the headline, let us remember: The Bobcats are in the playoffs!

That leaves just one slot left in the East, where the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks are currently battling to round out the docket.

Barring any unforeseen bracket ballyhoo, the Bobcats will be pitted against either the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers in Round 1.

While Charlotte throttled Indiana 109-87 in the two teams’ most recent meeting on March 5, the Bobcats are just 1-2 against the Pacers this season—still better than their 0-4 mark against Miami.

Two years ago, the Bobcats finished the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign with a record of 7-59—adjusted for percentage (.106), the worst performance by an NBA team in over 60 years, according to

Now, in Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and first-year coach Steve Clifford, Charlotte has the look and feel of a feisty up-and-comer in the making.

Congratulations, Bobcats. You can keep those golf clubs in storage for at least another week.