Friday, October 12, 2007

Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats season preview

Projected starting line-up
G Raymond Felton
G Jason Richardson
F Gerald Wallace
F Walter Herrmann
C Emeka Okafor

Matt Carroll
Adam Morrison
Jeff McInnis

Last Year
Expecations were low going into the 2006-2007 season. And not only were expeciations low but also attendance and profit. In Charlotte's third season, wins were few and far between but at the end of the season optimism was felt by everyone in the organization. With a final record of 33-49, they continued the trend of improving in every season (18 wins in year one, 26 in year two) and took out some top teams like the Cavs twice, Spurs, Pistons, Jazz, Bulls, Washington twice and the Lakers twice. Obviously this team does have talent, but the lack of depth and inexperience also lead to a 2-8 start to the season, a 5-10 December and an 8 game losing streak that spread both Feburary and March. On top of that, Michael Jordan, the man who proved being the best all time on the court does not mean jack-all when it comes to running a franchise, is now the main guy behind the scenes for Charlotte. Near the end of the season it was announced that Bernie Bickerstaff would not be returning as a coach or GM for the next season. So whatever progress was made this year, it could mean nothing now that someone else is taking the franchise in a new direction.

Off season
Hired Sam Vincent as a coach
Traded 8th pick Brandan Wright for Jason Richardson
Waived Brevin Knight
Re-signed Gerald Wallace
Re-signed Matt Carroll

Where to begin? Jason Richardson brings some more experience to the team, but this is still a very very young group with no meaningful playoff experience. Hiring a rookie coach to take over in this situation does not bold well for immediate results. And if at the end of next year this team has not taken another step forward, what happens with the Sam Vincent experiment? Matt Carroll is a solid shooter and adds some nice depth if he is coming off the bench. They don't need to get any younger so getting a proven scorer in Jason Richardson is very nice, although also getting his huge contract and his injuries concern is not so nice. If Richardson produces like he did in 05-06 where he played 75 games, shot 45%, grabbed close to 6 boards and averaged 23 points a game...he is by far worth trading a rookie. If though his numbers are like last year with 41.5% shooting, 5 boards,16 points a game and most importantly only 51 games then I would say he is not worth it. He does present a first for Charlotte which is a proven go-to guy. Gerald Wallace is a very nice athletic player....but is he worth around 9 million? Where in order for him to be effective he must put his body on the line which in turn makes him the injury risk that he is. He finished the year strong, averaging 28 points a game over a 5 game stretch in April. But if Charlotte is considered more of a threat, and opposing defense take more interest in Wallace, will he still be able to produce? Lot's of risks from M.J. this off-season.

A successful run from this Charlotte Bobcat team will be a very nice feel good story. It would be a pleasure to watch them be the Toronto Raptors of the 2007-2008 season. But for all the improvements they potentially made this off-season, it's not like other teams did nothing. And I use the word potentially because a lot could go wrong this year for Charlotte. Any major time missed by Okafor, Wallace and Richardson will hurt any chances this team has. And all three have to be considered injury risks. Plus Felton has been run into the ground last year when Brevin Knight was injured, logging a 48 minute game last year, a few 42-45 and a 57!! minute game along with a 51. Sure he is young and athletic, but so are most players when they get that first knee surgery. I guess the point is that for this team to make the playoffs, everything would have to go perfect this year, and even when making the playoffs, they would only be looking at 7th or 8th spot. So the question is, with the moves made in the off-season, is this really the direction they think will lead them to a championship?

What to look for
1) Jason Richardson - Can he lead the team as the number one option?
2) Experience: None - Can Sam Vincent as coach with very little experience and zero NBA head coaching experience lead this team?
3) Injury ridden season? - Sean May is already out, and Okafor and Wallace have the injury history. Can this team make it 82 games without major injury?

They have nice pieces but I have a hard time putting this team ahead of other lottery teams like Atlanta and Milwaukee. They have improved every season since the franchise started, but I don't see that big of an improvement this year.

Between 26 and 30 wins this season with a 13th place finish

1 comment:

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Charlotte Bobcats drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Charlotte good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Bobcats team down.

I which I could see some Bobcats games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Charlotte Bobcats. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Bobcats Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Bobcats Go!!!