Charlotte Bobcats Season Preview: Nowhere to go but up

This is a post by one of our writers, Tucker Warner. Due to technical difficulties, Tucker wasn’t able to post from his own account.

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Team Capsule

You probably have heard enough about the Charlotte Bobcats’ 2011-12 campaign already. Worst team in the NBA by a wide margin, worst single-season winning percentage in team history, lots of schadenfreude was had, etc. There were a few semi-bright spots, mercifully: a few young players looked to have potential, and DaSagana Diop air balled a free throw really badly and it was funny. That’s about it, unfortunately. This year? More of the same, but on a lesser scale. Barring a huge jump in production from some combination of Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo, and Gerald Henderson, plus a stellar rookie season from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, this team likely maxes out at around 25 wins. Thankfully, the good young players will continue to progress. We hope.

Biggest Strength: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There isn’t a whole lot that this team is good at. It’s not shooting, it’s not depth, it’s not defense…can I say diversity? The Bobcats’ biggest strength is diversity. They have both players of varying skill-sets and of different ethnic backgrounds. Diversity is a good thing to have, yes. No one will accuse this team of intolerance!

Biggest Weakness: Yes.

Alright, there’s a lot of weaknesses. I’ll say the biggest one is a noticeable lack of players capable of shooting the ball efficiently. Ben Gordon and perhaps Ramon Sessions, new additions to the club, will likely help with this problem, yes, along with a revitalized offense under new head coach Mike Dunlap that focuses much more on the transition game than previous coaches Paul Silas or Larry Brown ever did with the club. So maybe the Bobcats offense gets a little better this year, but they were so bad at it last year that a little improvement might not mean much. If it helps, they suck at defense and rebounding too.

Player to Watch: KEMBA

I’ll admit to my bias here- Kemba Walker is already one of my favorite basketball players of all time, going back to his college days at UConn. I can defend this choice though, I promise. While it’s entirely possible, if not outright likely, that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can be the best player in Charlotte by the end of his rookie year, the near future of the franchise doesn’t rely on the answer to his question (“we know he’ll be good, but how good?”) as much as it does with Kemba’s. And there, we want to know just what to make of this guy. Is he more so the player that put up a triple-double and was the team leader in the majority of the team’s few wins last year, or is he more of the player that was an inefficient shooter, shaky at creating chances for his teammates, and often lost on defense? To me, whether Kemba can be a star (or at least a good-to-very good role player) or whether he busts is a more interesting question than what type of production we’ll see from the NBA’s youngest player this year. Over time, Kidd-Gilchrist will undoubtedly turn into the more interesting (and more capable) player, but this year, we will see a good glimpse into what the future holds for Kemba Walker.

2011-12 Record: 7-59

Coach: Mike Dunlap (first year as NBA head coach)

Key Additions: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ben Gordon, Jeffrey Taylor, Ramon Sessions, Brendan Haywood

Hey! Rookies! And Ben Gordon! Sessions and Haywood are adequate players as well.

Key Subtractions: Corey Maggette, DJ Augustin, Eduardo Najera

Also, Cory Higgins is still with the team, which should count.

Team Trajectory: Rising

I mean, it’s not as if they could get any worse.

Projected Record: 20-62

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About Jameson Draper
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