Lauer Sounds Off: Thoughts Midway Through Preseason
By Scott Lauer
October 18, 2012
Scott Lauer is the radio play-by-play voice of the Charlotte Bobcats. His column will appear on bobcats.com on Thursdays throughout the season. The opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bobcats organization.
As the Bobcats are making the turn in this exhibition season, there a few aspects embedded in this team that are salient to me.
1. I wouldn’t suspect that they’ll be applying full court pressure as frequently as they are in the pre-season, but I can speak with conviction in saying that they’ll be the most aggressive defensive team in the NBA. They’ve forced more turnovers than they’ve committed in three of four games played, and I expect that trend to continue. On Tuesday, Oklahoma City was able to execute long passes through the trap, leading to about five easy rim attempts, but for the most part the scheme has been quite successful.
2. At 23 years young, Byron Mullens is averaging 15.8 points and is shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc. His hot spot is setting up behind that 3-point line, and he is letting that shot fly under Head Coach Mike Dunlap, who urges his players to take threes when they present themselves. Mullens is averaging 3.5 treys in 8.0 attempts per game. He’s a seven-footer shooting at a high percentage, which is a rarity. Who wins a 3-point shootout featuring seven footer’s…Dirk Nowitzki or Mullens?
3. Ramon Sessions is a stat-stuffer. He has the knack for quality all-around games. In OKC, he quietly earned 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds. He’s had a steal in the last three games…he contributes in the game flow.
4. DaJuan Summers is attempting to make the roster, and although the 24 year old hasn’t been featured often in games, for what it’s worth, it seems as if he hits most of shots in practices and shootarounds. He’s played with Detroit and New Orleans in the past three years.
5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist reminds me of a slightly more refined Gerald Wallace when the former Bobcat entered the league with Sacramento. Charlotte isn’t necessarily running plays to feature MKG scoring the ball, but the 19 year old can impact plays with his defense, rebounding and ball handling. For another comparison, take a look at Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio. He started to become an outside threat as his rookie year progressed.
6. As the rotations take shape heading toward the regular season, it appears because of the depth at the guard spots – with Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon – we’ll see plenty of three-guard alignments, which Coach Dunlap has already noted. If Reggie Williams and/or Matt Carroll can recapture the consistent outside shot, it’s a particularly loaded shooting guard position.