The Charlotte Bobcats have a winning percentage of 23.7 in their last two seasons. Michael Jordan is hopeful they can make somewhat of a turnaround this season with Kemba Walker blossoming into a star and the recent additions of Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller. Let’s see what they have in store for the upcoming NBA season:
Guards (B): Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon, Jannero Pargo
All five of these guards actually averaged at least 20 points per 40 minutes last season. Kemba Walker is a small guard with a shoot-first mentality, not to say his style doesn’t work. Jordan seems to be dedicated to Kemba as the future point guard. Sessions is, in my opinion, one of the stronger backup point guards in the league and he has the ability to play the 2, alongside Kemba. Henderson is a reliable role player, but I’m not quite sure he’s fit to be a starter. Ben Gordon is extremely erratic but he has the ability to go off any given night.
Forwards (B-): Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Al Jefferson, Jeff Taylor, Josh McRoberts, Anthony Tolliver
I’m a big fan of the Al Jefferson signing. Charlotte desperately needed a talented veteran to help put this team in the correct place. Not only did they get that, they got one of the most offensively talented bigs in the game. Although he isn’t a great defender, Al Jeff can rebound with the best of them. M.K.G. is very much a working progress. His jumpshot needs a lot of work and he needs to improve his I.Q. Kemba and Al Jeff have the potential to be a very efficient one-two punch. I can see this duo being especially dangerous with the pick-and-roll.
Centers (C): Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, Brendan Haywood (IR)
I think most people, including me, went “whhhaaatttt?!“, when M.J. selected Cody Zeller, center out of Indiana. However, I think many people were a bit quick to assume that was a bad pick. Zeller displayed a fantastic work ethic in college and that’s expected to carry over into the NBA. I have a feeling he could turn out to be a pleasant surprise (not saying he’ll be an all-star). Biyombo is a suitable backup with an excellent shot-blocking ability.
Defense (C+): Considering Charlotte was dead last in defensive efficiency last season, a “C+” defensive performance would be an improvement. Although Kemba Walker is among the top swipers in the league, his size and strength presents some trouble on the defensive end, causing point guards to attack him often. M.K.G. has the potential to be a great defender, much like Gerald Wallace was on the Bobcats. He’ll continue to improve as he learns the game. Jefferson and Zeller give them some meat down-low, boosting their defensive status.
Shooting (C+): When talking about who you’d want to take the game-winning shot, I’d consider Kemba Walker a sleeper. His size makes it tough for him to create his own shot but he manages to do so fairly well. Ben Gordon still is a “lights out” shooter but has had difficulties earning a respectable amount of playing time recently, as he was buried in the doghouse a couple times last year. Al Jefferson has a very good mid-range shot, making him a pretty big offensive weapon. That should definitely help Charlotte’s shooting woes from last season.
Experience (D): Al Jefferson is really their only fully experienced player that will receive significant playing time. Most of their other key players are in their low 20s (Walker, M.K.G., Zeller). This season will continue to be a learning experience for this youthful Bobcat squad.
Standing – 13th East: It’s been two years of miserable play and Jordan and the organization are expecting significant improvement year-by-year. With that said, the organization knows it’s still in the middle of a rebuilding process, as they’ll very likely be watching the playoffs from home again.
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