NBA Preview - Charlotte Bobcats (Plus Final East Rankings)
The Charlotte Bobcats made NBA history a season ago. The team set a franchise record for the most losses in a row with 16, which they managed to top later in the season with a 23 game losing streak. The shortened season was capped off with a pathetic 7-59 record and their winning percentage of .106 is now an NBA record for futility. Michael Jordan, the greatest NBA player of all-time, is quickly establishing himself as the worst owner in the history of the game.
The roster for the Bobcats is filled with busts from top to bottom. There is so little for their fans to get excited about – only two players come to mind. Kemba Walker was the lone bright spot on this historically bad team last season as he managed to put up solid numbers during his rookie campaign despite being surrounded by dead weight. He’ll look to help along this year’s rookie, the 2nd overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I love Kidd-Gilchrist’s game and really believe he has a bright future ahead of him in the NBA, but he unfortunately plays on the Bobcats – that will greatly hinder his Rookie of the Year chances. He’s good, but he’s not yet good enough to the point where he can help turn around a franchise.
There is one last player on the Bobcats that I am willing to talk about in a positive manner and that is Gerald Henderson. He’s got that “jump out of the building” hops and is one of the most athletic players in the game. Like a lot of players similar to him, Henderson struggles with his jumpshot. He’s just another example of a guy who, should he improve his all-around game, can become a more than formidable NBA player. Since it’s the Bobcats, I don't expect to see much of an improvement for Henderson this season.
Outside of the first few picks, last year's NBA draft wasn't exactly thrilling. Because of this, I don't blame the Bobcats for drafting C Bismack Biyombo with the 7th overall pick. However, that doesn’t mean I have to like him as an NBA player. His rookie year wasn’t atrocious, but it didn’t turn any heads either. I thought he would be a bust the moment he got drafted and I still believe he will be. The Bobcats desperately need a presence in the paint, but it’s likely Bismack Biyombo isn’t the answer.
Remember Ben Gordon? He was that undersized SG on the Chicago Bulls that could score buckets in huge numbers, won the Sixth Man of the Year award his rookie year and was hitting big shots in the playoffs. Then he signed with the Detroit Pistons and fell off the face of the Earth. He’s in Charlotte now after an offseason trade and things could be on the decline for this once promising player. His shooting percentage and per game averages have dipped dramatically since leaving Chicago and could be on his way to his worst season of his career.
DeSagana Diop, Brendan Haywood, Byron Mullens, Ramon Sessions, Reggie Williams and Tyrus Thomas are all guys that would struggle to crack the rotation of a good team. Sessions didn't impress anyone during his short tenure in Los Angeles during the second half of last season. On the Bobcats, they all become potential starting players who will play big minutes for a team that will compete again for the number 1 pick in next summer's draft.
There isn’t much to write about when it comes to the Bobcats. They made noise last season for all the wrong reasons and have become the sporting world’s punch line. Mike Dunlap, the team’s new head coach, will probably be out of a job within two years.
Season Outlook: Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist make the Bobcats occasionally watchable, but they establish themselves again as the worst team in the NBA.
Final Eastern Conference Rankings:
1 - Miami Heat
2 - Boston Celtics
3 - Indiana Pacers
4 - New York Knicks
5 - Brooklyn Nets
6 - Chicago Bulls
7 - Philadelphia 76ers
8 - Atlanta Hawks
9 - Cleveland Cavaliers
10 - Washington Wizards
11 - Milwaukee Bucks
12 - Toronto Raptors
13 - Orlando Magic
14 - Detroit Pistons
15 - Charlotte Bobcats
If you're looking for past teams I've already covered, click my name below the title to see a list of my articles.
The Western Conference begins tomorrow!
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