OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
Big things were expected from Gerald Henderson entering his fourth season in the league in 2012-13, so much so that then Head Coach Mike Dunlap went to Henderson prior to the start of training camp and asked him if he wanted to be one of the Cats captains.
“(He) wanted me to want to take it on,” Henderson explained after a training camp practice at Kimmel Arena on October 3, 2012. “I think it was a good choice with me and Matt (Carroll), and I’m ready for it. I think it’s something you earn. I don’t really like being named captain – I like the fact that I’ve earned it and know that I can show it.”
With only three years in the league under his belt, Henderson knew some people around the league might think it was a bit premature for him to be looked at to lead a young team, but he felt this couldn't have come at a more opportune time as the Cats continued to re-shape their roster.
“When you’re a real young guy, you’re worried more about what you’re doing, and you should be. But this is my fourth year now, and I know that if I can help other guys out, it will help me take on the role that I need to,” Henderson said in camp. “I want to take ownership of this team. This is a new year for us with a brand new team. I’m looking to make strides myself, and obviously our team is looking to make huge strides. I’m looking forward to a lot of different things.”
Captains Ready to Lead
CAREER YEAR - WHAT'S NEXT?
Henderson entered 2012-13 looking to build on a strong 2011-12 campaign in which he led the Bobcats in scoring (15.1 points) and was third in rebounding (4.1) and assists (2.3). He responded by setting career highs in nearly every statistical category, finishing second on the team in scoring (15.5 points), steals (1.00) and minutes played (31.4) while also posting career bests from 3-point range (33.0 percent) and the free-throw line (82.4 percent) and dished out a career-high 2.6 assists. He also shot 44.7 percent from the field and brought down 3.7 rebounds. While neither of the latter two were career bests, they continued to showcase Hendo's all-around game as he looked to get his teammates involved.
Coming off a strong campaign as the Cats captain, what's next for Henderson? At this point, it's up in the air as he enters the 2013 offseason. Charlotte has the option to make Henderson a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent and enabling the Cats to match any offer he might get. Should the Cats go this route, it will be interesting to watch what teams think a young, talented two-guard like Hendo would be a solid fit for their team and if they make a serious run at him. Charlotte could also choose not to make Henderson a qualifying offer, meaning he would become an unrestricted free agent.
"I want to stay here for sure," Henderson said the day after the season. "If we can work something out, it would be a good thing. But its an interesting process. Much of it really isn't up to me… we'll see what happens. Charlotte has been good to me, so we'll see what we can work out."
2012-13 Henderson Player Page
WHAT A FINISH
One of the biggest knocks on Henderson heading into his fourth year was that he had yet to establish any consistency in his performance. He'd score 20 points to go with five rebounds one night and follow it up with a six-point, three-rebound performance the next. Henderson put any questions about his consistency to rest at the tail end of 2012-13, as he averaged 19.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.04 steals the last two months of the season and recorded 24-straight double-digit scoring performances to close things out. In that stretch, Henderson twice set career highs with 35-point nights on March 12 against Boston and on March 29 in New York. His explosion against the Knicks came just two nights after he put up 34 points against Orlando on March 27. But those weren't the only explosive nights for Henderson in the final two months. He scored 20+ points in 10 of the Cats final 21 games while helping Charlotte to eight wins in that span.
"I found out the best way to play consistent is to train consistently," said Henderson. "Whether its my diet, making sure I get extra work in, coming in to get treatment and taking care of my body - doing that stuff consistently and establishing that consistent mindset, I feel like that helped me."
March 12 Wells Fargo Game Recap vs. Boston
March 27 Wells Fargo Game Recap vs. Orlando
March 29 Wells Fargo Game Recap at New York
START, STOP, GO
Henderson opened the season strong, scoring 18 points, swiping five steals, grabbing three rebounds and swatting two blocks as the Cats took down the Pacers, 90-89, in their season opener on November 2, 2012 in Charlotte. However, his hot start was cut short as he managed just seven points and three rebounds in 20 minutes before leaving with a foot injury on November 3, 2012 in Dallas. Henderson missed the Cats next 13 games with a mid-foot sprain before returning on December 3 against Portland. Imagine if Hendo had that month back and was able to hit his stride earlier in 2012-13.
November 2 Wells Fargo Game Recap vs. Indiana
November 4 Henderson Injury Update
Video: Henderson on Injury
EXPANDING HIS ARSENAL
When I spoke with Henderson prior to the 2012-13 season, there were three goals he had for the development of his game - to become a better leader on and off the court, to work on his 3-point stroke and to get to the line more. I've already touched on how Hendo was named team captain, so how far did he get on the other two goals? After taking 47 treys and connecting on 11 (23.4 percent) in 2011-12, Henderson more than doubled his attempts from beyond the arc (100) while tripling his makes (33) and increasing his 3-point percentage to 33.0 percent. Only Kemba Walker (296-for-371) and Ramon Sessions (291-for-347) went to the charity stripe more than Henderson (258-for-313) last season and Hendo bumped his free-throw percentage from 76.0 percent in 2011-12 to 82.4 percent in 2012-13. Add to that the fact that Charlotte tripled its win total from the previous season, and Henderson had to view his fourth year in the league as a success.
"I think overall it was a good season," said Henderson. "We didn't win as much as we had wanted to, but I feel like we improved. Any time you have that, it's definitely something you can look forward to for the summer. We can get even better. We'll see what happens this summer."
2012-13 Bobcats Stats
2013-14 FANTASY IMPACT
If Gerald Henderson stays in Charlotte following the 2013 offseason, he could be on his way to fantasy stardom. Once an afterthought in many leagues, Hendo has proven himself to be a valuable fantasy piece on teams contending for possible championships. He's a guy who still might be flying under the radar in your league who can fill a stat sheet and has shown improvement across the board in his shooting percentages. Henderson and Kemba Walker were the top fantasy backcourt tandem in March of 2013, setting up what could be a sign of great things to come for the Cats in the fantasy world.
Fantasy Outlook – Top Backcourt Tandem