|2012-13 Team Rating|
|28th Overall||29th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
The Brendan Haywood experiment hasn't produced huge dividends for the Bobcats, who have gotten much more from youngsters Byron Mullens and Bismack Biyombo. And while their work has been admirable, they're in over their heads right now. Rookie forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, however, is a future star.
Second-year guard Kemba Walker is fearless and has come into his own as a someone who can get major buckets (he leads the team in scoring) while also facilitating for others (he leads Charlotte in assists, too). The only downside is that Gerald Henderson's scoring and shooting numbers have dipped from last season.
There's no sugar-coating this: the Bobcats rank at the bottom in every significant defensive category. They are brutal and can't stop anyone in the half court or in transition despite having decent shot blockers in Biyombo and Haywood and a solid all-around defender in Kidd-Gilchrist.
It's too bad one man doesn't make a bench, because Ramon Sessions has been splendid as Walker's backup and one of the league's best bargains. But the rest of the bench has been missing in action for the most part.
Some twelve games into this season, Mike Dunlap (and his fabulous wardrobe) were on center stage. The Bobcats were 7-5 and Dunlap's name was being tossed around in (way too premature) Coach of the Year conversations. Since then, of course, reality has set in.
Once again Bobcats fans are left to search for the silver lining to yet another lottery bound season. The bottom line is that the Bobcats' rebuilding process will continue on because they simply do not possess enough of the proper pieces to make a move out of the Eastern Conference basement. Any optimism from early in the season was crushed by that nasty 18-game losing streak that ended on New Year's Eve in Chicago.
Two things the Bobcats can back on, however, are Walker and Kidd-Gilchrist. They're two young keepers that will be around Charlotte for a long time, given the way they are performing right now. Walker's continued evolution as a point guard is crucial. And the front office has to make whatever moves necessary to continue to build around both Walker and Kidd-Gilchrist. They don't have the assets to make a noise in the trade market, so they'll have to do it the hard way and work through the Draft and free agency to build for the future.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|