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Rufus Links: April 22

The playoffs may be the focus of our attention, but we still have the internet and we still have links! With so many meaningful basketball games going on, we don’t have an abundance of non-game related links this week. Let’s check ‘em out!

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Clifford's bid for Coach of the Year came up short; three spots short to be exact. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich won this year's award and rightly so. No Spurs player averaged more than 30 minutes per game and San Antonio dominated the West, they have home court advantage throughout the playoffs and oh yeah, he's the best coach in the game.  This one shouldn't have really surprised anyone. Chicago's Tom Thibodeau and Phoenix's Jeff Hornacek finished third and second, respectively.

Sports Illustrated:  During his team's game Sunday, Pop made a super classy move using his in-game interview to send out a message to long-time sideline "rival" and broadcaster Craig Sager while talking to Sager's son. The senior Sager was understandably moved and Sports Illustrated caught up with him as he begins his treatment for leukemia. Video of Pop's message and other tributes from the TNT studio crew are included. All worth a look.

Associated Press: Steve Reed reports Al Jefferson says he will play in Game 2.  Big Al will likely be battling some legit pain but he has not wavered from his post-game comments on Sunday.

Charlotte Observer: A bevy of good reads from the Charlotte Observer this week, including Tom Sorenson's take on why this Bobcats team is more than just scrappy.

Charlotte ObserverRick Bonnell says there were actually a lot of good things in Sunday's loss to the Heat.

Charlotte Observer: Here's a little more info on why Charlotte decided to fly home after the game Sunday and then go back to Miami for Wednesday's match-up from Joseph Goodman.

Queen City Hoops: Greg Pietras over at Queen City Hoops (a site that WON'T have to change its name soon) gives some good thoughts on what Charlotte needs to do to make these playoffs matter.

Sports Illustrated's The Point Forward:  The Bobcats might not....MIGHT the NBA title this year.  But they aren't the only ones.  Here is a rundown of why your team won't (or will) win the championship.