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Midseason Report Cards
Stats Through Jan. 20
W-L 18-25
PCT .419
DIV 1-7
CONF 15-14
HOME 10-12
ROAD 8-13
Al Jefferson's All-Star credentials are strong. Josh McRoberts held on to the starting power forward job, highlighting the fact that Cody Zeller has been a huge disappointment by most any measure. A six-week injury (broken hand) absence for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist didn't help matters either.
Kemba Walker's injury could hamper things in the second half of the season. His play before he was lost for 10-14 days with a severely sprained left ankle, however, powered the Bobcats' offense. Gerald Henderson's consistent production has also served as a steadying force.
Steve Clifford arrived in Charlotte with the promise of the implementation of a defensive identity and system that the Bobcats could hang their season (and potentially future seasons) on. He's delivered a top-10 defense. Jefferson, never considered a defensive stalwart earlier in his career, has even bought in.
With injuries to Jefferson, Kidd-Gilchrist and Walker, the Bobcats never did get the chance for their second unit to develop the sort of chemistry needed to be a major factor. Losing Jeff Taylor for the season with that ruptured Achilles certainly doesn't help the cause for this crew.
Clifford was universally praised during the interview process in Charlotte and everywhere else there was an opening during the summer. Clifford looks to be every bit the solid coach general managers around the league that pursued him believe him to be.

There is no shame in sneaking through the backdoor to the postseason without a winning record. And the Bobcats need to remember that as they attempt to hold on to their current position, or improve it, as the season winds its way toward the playoff end. At this stage of the game it only matters that you make it there.

While things haven't gone as smoothly as anticipated, Clifford certainly seems to be a better fit that his predecessor(s). His measured and business-first-and-last approach has set the ideal tone for a crew that was searching for some thing, some system they could believe in.

-- Sekou Smith

2013-14 Team Rating
Offense Defense
98.0 101
27thth Overall 7thth Overall