What's on the Menu? "mmmmmm . . . Basketball!!!!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SDH's 2012/2013 NBA Worst to First Previews & Predictions: 30. Charlotte Bobcats

Overall Win/Loss Record :  7-59, fifth place Southeast division

Last Season’s Rank

30
Projected 2012/2013 Finish

30

Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank

  • Points Per Game Scored: 87.0 (30th)
  • Points Allowed Per Game:  100.9 (27th)
  • Team FG%: .414 (30th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .475 (29th)
  • Rebounds per game: 39.0 (29th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 45.0 (29th)


Returning Individual Statistical Leaders

  • Scoring (ppg): Gerald Henderson (15.1)
  • Rebounds per game:  Bismack Biyombo (5.8)
  • Minutes per game: Gerald Henderson (33.3)
  • Assists per game: Kemba Walker (4.4)
  • Steals per game:  Kemba Walker (0.9)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Bismack Biyombo (1.8)


Projected Starters Based on Last Season’s Performance and Projected Impact

Key Reserves Based on Last Season’s Performances and Potential Impact.
  1. Kemba Walker, G
  2. Ben Gordon, G
  3. Bismack Biyombo, F/C
  4. Reggie Williams, F
  5. Tyrus Thomas, F

2012/2013 Projection based on roster depth, previous performances, and current strengths of opponents:  13-69, last in the league, back to the lottery

Analysis:

Say what you want about the Charlotte Bobcats: yeah they sunk to a new low finishing last season with the worst record in NBA history; however, at least everyone who watches them now know that is the lowest that that team will ever reach.  There is nowhere for the Cats to go but up and every season following will look like a success to last season.  Even doubling their win total to 14 games this upcoming season will look like a major achievement as expectations will be rather low for the Bobcats.  Their last place finish may not have netted them the number one pick in the NBA Draft as they had planned, but the worst they got was the second pick.  A few more “rebuilding” seasons along with the top five picks that come with them and the Charlotte Bobcats will be in a far better place than they have ever been.

Before, the Bobcats were simply treading water hoping not to drown—they were not good enough to make the playoff or bad enough to go high enough in the draft to get a franchise changing pick.  Although many shunned the Cats and team owner Michael Jordan for purposely tanking the season in order to have a stronger chance to get the number one pick which unfortunately did not happen; however what he and his GM Rich Cho did was the right thing.  The Bobcats were going nowhere and would have not gone any further than they had already gotten.  Fan morale was already at an all time low thanks to the rather mediocre roster so Jordan made the wise decision to blow the whole thing up and allow Cho to go about his plan build the team through the draft.  In effect by tanking the team the way they did, they in effect did a reset on the team cleaning the slate and decided to start over from square one.

It started two seasons ago when the Bobcats sent away the team’s best player, Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers for next to nothing.  After that, they continued cleaning up by shipping the team’s leading scorer, Stephen Jackson to the Milwaukee Bucks for a broken down Corey Maggette and a first round pick that ended up to be the team’s best shot blocker, Bismack Biyombo.  To cap things off, Cho finally parted ways with growing malcontent Boris Diaw buying out the remainder of his contract to finish the cleansing.  Cho even managed to rid his team of Maggette shipping the has-been to the Detroit Pistons for their own dead weight contract of Ben Gordon.  Though Gordon has been an absolute bust in Detroit sign signing with the Pistons three years ago, he is certainly a major upgrade from Maggette whose quickness and athleticism had all but diminished.

Gordon may not even stay with the Bobcats for long as his contract will expire after next season thus making him a valuable trade chip for Charlotte’s future plans.  If the coaching staff is lucky, maybe Gordon can provide the veteran leadership and guidance to this extremely young roster.  Unfortunately, that is quite doubtful considering that he was expected to do the same in Detroit and incapable of doing so.  At least in Charlotte, he will have a chance to have a fresh start and possibly return to the instance offense gunner that he was once well known of being.  Either way, the Bobcats win whether he pans out or not as his gives Charlotte an added offensive punch in which the Bobcats severely lacked last season.

Along with Gordon, the Bobcats added two other affordable pieces to give the team a somewhat respectable veteran presence.  This picked up center Brendan Haywood off waivers and sign free agent point guard Ramon Sessions to an affordable short term deal—just 2 year at 10$ million.  These three veterans with 94 game of post season experience between them will be joining an exciting roster of up and coming players which is one of the youngest in the league.  With seven of the current 12 man roster under the age of 25 with two of the age of 20, not much will be expected from this rather inexperienced Bobcats team—which is a good thing, by the way.  Given a lot of time and a few more draft picks, Charlotte might end up a team worth watching in the future and probably in time, will bring the roar off pro basketball back into its already dwindling fan-base.