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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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    10/27/2020 11:42 AM

2013/14 NBA Team Preview: Charlotte Bobcats

Season Review 2012/13:

Advanced Stats
Numbers
Rank
Pace
91.5
17
Offense
101.5
28
Defense
111.5
30
Rebound
48.5
25

4 Factors
Offense
Numbers
Rank
Defense
Numbers
Rank
eFG%
46.0
30
eFG%
52.4
30
TO%
13.2
7
TO%
13.2
22
Reb%
25.7
18
Reb%
28.9
29
FT%
23.3
3
FT%
19.7
10

Monthly Performance
Record
OffRtg
DefRtg
November
 7-8
101.1
107.9
December
 1-15
104.5
117.5
January
 3-11
102.1
112.9
February
 2-10
99.6
114.4
March
 4-12
103.4
117.4
April
 4-5
103.8
109.8


It would be pratically impossible for the Bobcats to do worse than they had done in the previous season, when they won just 7 games out of the 66 regular season games that they played.

With a new Head Coach and with the #2 pick of the draft in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the expectations were that Charlotte would be a bit more competitive than in the previous season, but more than that would be just utopic given the team’s roster. Curiously, the Bobcats surprised the league early in the season by getting a 7-5 record on their first 12 games, but that followed an 18-games losing streak that sent the team back into the bottom of the league.

Charlotte ended the season as the #28 ranked offense, #30 ranked defense and #25 ranked rebounding team in the league. So, there aren’t a lot of reasons to praise the team. Head Coach Mike Dunlap struggled to adapt into the NBA, especially on defense. It would be always hard to be any good on offense given the team’s roster, especially its lack of a decent frontcourt player. So, the Bobcats’ offense were guard-oriented and they had the goal of taking advantage of the relentless attack from their guards that turned Charlotte into the #3 team in the league on FT/rate.

Defensively, Dunlap introduced the concept of team defense that he used on college and that simply didn’t work in the NBA. He would “deliberately” ask his team to not apply a proper defensive pressure at the corner positions (corner three points) just to get more available players in a potential defensive rebounding situation, where the team could get the ball and go into transition in an almost automatic way (note that the Bobcats were #7 in the league on fast break points per game with 15.7). The problem was that Charlotte’s defense was torched by their opponents from long range, as they were the second worst 3pts% defense in the league by allowing 38.8% 3pts, while no other team allowed so many treys to their opponents than Charlotte with 8.7 treys allowed per game.

Due to an impressive tank job by Orlando, Charlotte ended the season with the second worst record in the league and ready to have another high draft pick. The most positive factor of the team’s season was the breakthrough of Kemba Walker, who had a nice bounce back after a terrible rookie season in the previous year.


Offseason Report:

As expected, Mike Dunlap was fired and the Bobcats chose Steve Clifford as their new Head Coach. Clifford was until last season an assistant coach with the LA Lakers, after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant in Orlando. The organization also decided to add Patrick Ewing as an Associate Head Coach and Bob Beyer, Stephen Silas, Bob Weiss and Mark Price as assistant coaches. That’s a lot of experience in the coaching staff!

In the draft, the Bobcats selected Cody Zeller to improve their struggling frontcourt. The team also attacked the free agent market unexpectedly and added Al Jefferson in a three-year deal that is worth $41 million. In the backcourt, Gerald Henderson got a new contract, but with favorable conditions for the team, while the rest of the team is pretty much the same from last season.


Season Preview:

The Bobcats have conditions to be much more competitive than they were last season, but that might be problematic for them, having in account the quality of next year’s draft class.

Kemba Walker was the player that improved the most on the team last season and he is now the clear starting PG of the team for the present and the future. His rookie season was horrible, but that was understandable as Kemba was playing alongside very poor quality players in the middle of a lockout season that gave every team a very tough schedule. Kemba improved his efficiency last season (from 36.6% FG to 42.3% FG), while his assists number also improved from 4.4 to 5.7 assists per game. With more talent on the frontcourt this season, Walker won’t be as pressured and he will have more space in the perimeter in comparison to last season. Therefore, he should be able to continue his development this season.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist didn’t have a bad rookie season, but he didn’t also impress anyone. Charlotte didn’t give him any pressure and he played just 26 minutes per game. He shot 46% FG and that’s quite decent indeed. But I was expecting him to be more aggressive on defense, as 0.7 steals per game is a poor number given his reputation in college. Anyway, let’s not forget that he is just 20 years old and without any pressure to win games this season, Kidd-Gilchrist will have every conditions to explode on his sophomore season, just like it happened with Kemba Walker last season.

Gerald Henderson will complete the team’s starting backcourt with MKG and Walker. Henderson is the best shooter from the three, but still he could only shoot 33% 3pts last season and that was a career high! The only pure great shooter that the Bobcats have in the roster is Ben Gordon, who is coming from a terrible season where he clashed with Coach Dunlap in several occasions. Let’s see if he can get along with the new coaching staff better and become the team’s outside shooting weapon that the Bobcats badly need on offense.

With Al Jefferson joining the team, he will immediately become the team’s best offensive player by far. His post up game continues being one of the best in the league and he will be the Bobcats’ most obvious solution on offense down the stretch. However, Big Al is also known for his terrible defense and rebounding. These aren’t good news for a team that was the second worst defensive rebounding team in the league last season…

Cody Zeller impressed in the draft combine just before being picked by the Bobcats with the #4 overall draft pick, just to impress once again during the Summer League. His offensive game is surely much better than his defense, so the duo formed by Zeller and Jefferson promises to be an exciting offensive unit and a very poor defensive unit at the same time. Charlotte’s depth on frontcourt with Josh McRoberts and Bismack Biyombo give the team a lot of hustle guys but with little offensive skills.

Charlotte will continue to be far from a team with expectations to get a late playoff spot this season. The roster has some interesting players, but it’s still very inexperienced and unbalanced. Their lack of outside shooting on the perimeter might be a huge problem for them by turning them into a very predictable offensive team. On the other hand, turning this team into a decent defensive unit will be a huge challenge for the new coach Steve Clifford, who still has conditions to improve Charlotte’s record in comparison to last season.

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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