In Sunday's Charlotte Observer and on www.CharlotteObserver.com, I opine that Charlotte only has a 20 percent chance of making the playoffs. As of this writing, Charlotte is No.9 in a race where only the top eight teams get in -- 2.5 games behind both Chicago and Detroit.
The Bobcats (33-40) did tie a modest franchise record tonight after beating the New York Knicks by grabbing their 33rd win. I think they would need to go 7-2 over the final nine games to earn that final spot -- 40 wins would probably do it. And 39 might.
But I don't think they'll get there. I think the Bobcats will go 5-4 over their last nine, finishing at 38-44. Of those final nine games, six are on the road (thanks in part to the Charlotte Jumper Classic and Bob Johnson).
Charlotte plays the L.A. Lakers, Boston and Orlando during this final stretch, along with head-to-head bouts against playoff contenders Chicago and Detroit (both on the road, both must-wins).
Bottom line: I don't think Charlotte will make it. Not quite. But as I wrote for Sunday's paper, at least the Bobcats will be relevant for the first time in April.