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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The TrueHoop Network Shootaround


An improbable ending in Sacramento for the Hornets, an improbable W for the Bobcats against the Lakers, and an improbable comeback for a former prodigy. Factor the improbabilities at the TrueHoop Network: 

New Orleans HornetsNiall Doherty of Hornets247: "It was one crazy finish in Sacramento. In the final three minutes, we had Hilton Armstrong and Devin Brown miss four free throws, Rashad McCants and Francisco Garcia hitting long J's to keep the Kings in it, a fit-for-a-wheelchair David West converting a three-point play off a bullet feed from Chris Paul, an amazing block by Garcia on CP's fast break layup, followed by some awesome transition defense by Julian Wright to prevent an easy two by Andres Nocioni. The Kings then reset and Beno Udrih threw in an off-balance, sideways runner to put them up two with 1.7 seconds left. Plenty of time for Garcia and Nocioni to miscommunicate on a switch and leave Butler all alone for three. I'm not sure my elderly neighbor on oxygen support appreciated my screaming Rasual [Butler]'s name and jumping around my living room at 11:45 p.m. on a Tuesday night."

Gerald WallaceBrett Hainline of Queen City Hoops: "The Bobcats are giving Charlotte a playoff race and took the opportunity to knock off one the league's top teams and most popular players -- and the city is started to get excited ... There was a lot to be excited about last night: Gerald [Wallace] had what is becoming a routine game for him, but that makes it no less exceptional ... Boris Diaw did what he does best, creating for teammates: 12 assists for Boris and just 1 turnover, including handful of 'how did he make that pass' plays. Against the bigger frontcourt of the Lakers, Boris recognized it was not a game for him to try and score a lot of points in the paint -- but that didn't stop him from finding opportunities for others there ... Charlotte got everything it wanted last night: A win, a Detroit loss, and a Chicago loss. That puts the Cats a game out of the 8th spot and just 2 back of 7th. With a game against both the Bulls and Pistons left ... well, last night may not remain the biggest game in Bobcats' history for long."

Shaun LivingstonRob Mahoney of Hardwood Paroxysm: "The underlying sentiment of most [Shaun] Livingston stories will parade his rehabilitation, and rightfully so.  From that injury to what we can only hope is a full-time comeback, Shaun has come a long way.  At the core of this story is disappointment and redemption.  Strength, will, and resiliency.  But what Shaun represents isn't a moral-of-the-story tagline or cheesy documentary featurette on the power of the human spirit.  Livingston, as much as any player, is hope.  Hope that a lanky, awkward 6′7” point guards can rule the league.  Hope that injured players can return to their previous form, even if that form was but a point on the slope to an undetermined end.  Hope that some players will realize that braids may not be for them, and that they look better with short hair ... Acquiring a hardly proven, injury-ridden point guard has never made so much sense."

THE FINAL WORD
Celtics Hub: Boston's clutch offense -- apart from the Big Three.
48 Minutes of Hell: It's about time for the Spurs to settle on a rotation.
Forum Blue & Gold: Mark Cuban buys the Lakers ... via Twitter.

(Photos by Rocky Widner, Streeter Lecka, Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)