2013 Free Agency

2012 Team Preview: Charlotte Bobcats

In Season Previews on October 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Charlotte Bobcats

Starting Lineup

  • PG – Ramon Sessions
  • SG – Gerald Henderson
  • SF – Michael Kidd-Gilchrest
  • PF – BJ Mullens
  • C  – Brendan Haywood

A very weak starting lineup. Not a single player who is a top ten player at his position. Not a single above average starter. Not even an average starting player. All five players are well below average starters with BJ Mullens being one of the worst starting PFs in the league.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrest is the most exciting player in this lineup. I am expecting MKG to be an above average defender/rebounder right away. Plays with good poise offensively. Shows some promise with his ball-handling, passing and decision making. Jump-shot and shot-creation is limited and will need a lot of work. Excellent intangibles. Best player in the starting lineup.

Brendan Haywood is a slow footed center with good size (7-0, 250lbs) and imposing length. A good defender/rebounder. His declining levels of quickness/mobility have knocked back both his defense and his offense in recent seasons. A limited offensive threat. Solid finisher around the rim.

BJ Mullens is a very weak defender/rebounder. A solid jump shooter but fairly inefficient offensive weapon due to his high proportion of medium to good percentage shot attempts + lack of a high percentage shot attempts. Not convinced he is an NBA level player. Has the physical talent and shows some skill offensively but I am hugely disappointed by how little development (especially as a defender/rebounder) BJ Mullens has shown to date.

Gerald Henderson is an very strong defensive player. Solid size at 6 foot 5 inches with a good strong frame. Excellent lateral and end to end quickness. Good toughness defensively. Solid rebounder. Hasn’t gotten the credit due for his defense because he is on a bad team but Henderson is a real fine defensive player. Offensively; a limited ball-handler, passer, jump-shooter and shot-creator. Given his four year college career and now in his fourth season as a pro, I am not expecting Henderson to show much more than he currently has shown (writing off star potential). Biggest area for him will be spot-up shooting. Accept his place as a role player in the NBA.

Ramon Sessions is a very good backup PG who is unsuited to being a starting PG. Needs the ball in his hands offensively and doesn’t create enough to justify that much time on the ball to get it on a quality basketball team. Too reliant on the pick and roll still. Still too weak off the ball and as a spot-up shooter. A dodgy defender. Good rebounder. Since the Bobcats team is awful, Sessions should see lots of the ball and put up good numbers here.

Bench

  • PG – Kemba Walker
  • SG – Ben Gordon, Matt Carroll, Cory Higgins
  • SF – Derrick Brown, Reggie Williams, Jeffery Taylor
  • PF – Tyrus Thomas
  • C  – Bismack Biyombo, DeSagana Diop

An elite backup combo guard in Ben Gordon. A high level backup PF. A couple of middle of the pack backups in Derrick Brown and Biyombo. The third string depth with Diop and the four non-primary reserve wings are very impressive.

Ben Gordon is the most prized asset here. One of the best sixth men in the NBA. the best backup combo in the league (ahead of Jason Terry) for my money. An explosive scorer/shooter (17-20ppg threat, 2nd-3rd option caliber scorer) who has improved his passing these past few years. A large liability defensively at SG and a below average but decent defender/rebounder at PG.

Tyrus Thomas is a highly effective backup power forward to below average but solid starting power forward. A well above average defensive player. A very good possession creator who rebounds well and does an excellent job creating turnovers. A very good complementary offensive player. A good midrange and long two point range jump-shoot. An explosive finisher around the basket and in transition. Has a bit of a face-up game and doses a really good job at getting to the free throw line. A talented player (4th or 5th best player on a title contender).

Derrick Brown is a well above average defender/rebounder with a very limited offensive repertoire. His lack of offensive range makes it difficult to get him extended minutes at SF which forces Charlotte to use him as an undersized quick PF (at times) in order to get him more playing time. An excellent athlete with great length. Middle of the pack to slightly below average backup SF.

Bismack Biyombo is a slightly below average defensive player. Very raw defender. Struggles against size. Needs refinement. Has excellent defensive potential but a long way to go. Limited offensive game. No shot-creation skills, passing skills or range on his jumper. Garbage man (offensively). Good rebounder and possession creator. Creates turnovers. Blocks shots. Middle of the pack to slightly below average backup center. Probably better off as a power forward than a center until he better refines his defensive fundamentals but Charlotte doesn’t have the personnel to use him much there.

Kemba Walker was their other lottery pick from last season. Struggled mightily his rookie season. Just as bad if not worse than Jonny Flynn. A seriously undersized PG who is a liability defensively due to his lack of size/length. Kemba Walker was a tremendous finisher in the college game but even back then you could tell that the shots he was taking would be much harder against legitimate big men with NBA size/athleticism and shot-blocking. A solid two point jump shooter but lacks range beyond that. A below 40% field goal percentage. Very inefficient (and ineffective) scorer. A weak floor general / playmaker. One of the weaker primary backup PGs in the NBA.

Matt Carroll is a good third string shooting guard. A very good jump-shooter but otherwise limited basketball player. A specialist.

Reggie Williams is a good scorer/shooter for a bench player. Capable of putting up points on the board in a hurry. A liability as a defender/rebounder (too small for a SF, too slow for a SG, tweener) and a limited passer. So his non-scoring contributions are a large net negative and in my opinion actually take more off the table than his scoring adds. A useful third stringer but depending on him for a larger role would cause more hurt than help.

DeSagana Diop is an intriguing third string center. Coming off an ACL injury and was grossly overweight last year (which he has apparently lost this summer). ACL injuries are devastating for basketball players. Inhibits quick movements, agility and explosiveness. So it’s unclear what level Diop will be able to play at. If he can get anywhere near his previous levels, he’d be an elite third string center. But that is probably expecting too much. Still, having a big center with his size and physical strength as a situational sub should offer Charlotte some good value at various points over the season.

Overall

One of the worst teams in the league. Probably the worst.

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