Bobcats Baseline Season 9 | Week 1 Recap

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Five Thoughts on the Week

The first week of the ’12-’13 Bobcats season wraps up with the team going 1-2. After putting an end to their infamous 23 game losing streak in the opener against Indy, the team was blown out in Dallas, then dropped a winnable game at home against the Suns on Wednesday night.

#1 Byron Mullens makes me want to throw things.

Simply can’t think of a more infuriating player to watch. His defense has improved from “non-existent” to “below average” and at times he actually makes plays on that end. But the sleepy time rotations are killing the team inside and a big reason the Cats are allowing a league worst 110 ppg. As for Mully’s vaunted jumper? Before Wednesday’s 6-10 three pointer explosion, BJ was just 2 of 14 from the beyond the arc. Yes he’s attempted 24 threes in three games. I get that Dunlap needs Mullens to space the floor for Kemba and Sessions to drive but he’s gonna need better, more consistent shot selection.

#2 MKG is the real deal.

The box score is impressive but the performance is even more so: Kidd-Gilchrist is a defensive marvel. I can’t remember seeing a young player stay grounded the way he does on shot fakes yet still come up with a couple of blocks every game (2.0 bpg). You just can’t teach instincts like that. His lateral movement and the way he orients his hips to stay in front of his assignment is just phenomenol. Though MKG’s only 19, few SFs can match his rebounding (6.6 rpg in just 26 minutes) and don’t even get me started on his knack for deflections (1.7 spg) – in two seasons we could be looking at a team with the league’s top shot blocker (Biyombo) and top steals artist. His offense has been as raw as advertised but he did nail a 17 footer in Dallas that didn’t look half bad and attempted another versus the Suns that looked good before it rimmed out. I’m not worried about that aspect of his game, it will come eventually. Best news of the young season by far is that MKG is a stud.

#3 The Kemba/Sessions Platoon.

Charlotte’s point men are leading the team in PER (18.98 for Walker, 20.22 for Sessions) and aside from Mullens, are basically the entire Cats offense. Kemba exploded for 30 points in the opener but has since come back to earth. His size limits what he can do at the rim and the Cats just don’t have enough shooters to punish opponents for clogging the lane. Sessions is currently the more skilled of the two and has been killing it with his push up the floor and rolls to the hoop.

#4 Henderson Out 2-4 Weeks.

This hurt. GH2 is right behind MKG as the team’s top defender and was able to slide in as a better shooting backup three when the team went small. He was the team’s best wing player getting to the rim and the only thing close to a shot clock bail-out option in the starting 5. In the interim, Coach Dunlap will have to find production from either Reggie Williams (better shooter, huge defensive downgrade) or rookie Jeffrey Taylor – who has logged 16 NBA minutes but has yet to generate one positive stat.

#5 Brendan Haywood was a great pickup.

At $2 million per, I can’t imagine a better value signing for a team so desperately in need of the things Haywood provides. His offense is much more advanced than I remembered – the baseline hopstep-and-one he pulled against Phoenix Wednesday night was Hakeem-esque. Haywood is the team’s best rebounder, best post defender and anchors the defense like an inside linebacker. Excellent pickup for the present and the future as a mentor for Bismack Biyombo.

–ASChin


POLL : Will Coach Dunlap Make It Through The Season?

  • Of Course He Will (72%, 86 Votes)
  • No, He'll Be Fired Mid-Season (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Yes, But Released Next Summer (6%, 7 Votes)
  • Coach of the Year 2012-13 (20%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 120

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3 thoughts on “Bobcats Baseline Season 9 | Week 1 Recap

  1. Simon Wood

    Great read. Couldn’t agree more about Mullens. Every time he shoots it makes me cringe. I don’t care how many shots he makes I will never be comfortable with it.
    Also agree on Haywood being a great pickup. He seems like a smart player and also seems to be enjoying himself being in Charlotte. Would like to see more improvement in the front line tho. Hopefully we can trade for some more offensive in the paint.

    • The Cats seem like a low-budget production of the Dallas Mavericks right now.

      They’re trying to pull the Zone Defense to throw teams off, they run their Offense through a big white 7 footer that doesn’t play Center, and they have a ton of guys shooting 3’s.

      It looks really bad with a team like the Bobcats, but the Mavs made it look so nice on their title run a couple years back.

  2. RobC

    This team is going to be fine…! They will win 25 games this season (an upgrade from the 15 games I was hoping for before the season began). Mullens will actually start making shots and continue to rebound the ball, he will never be a defensive stopper, but might end up being averaged.

    I do think the Bobcats should try to figure out a deal with Utah for Al Jefferson. Utah will not be able to resign him and the Bobcats have some assets and a HUGE need for low-post scoring. Also, since today the most he can sign is 5 years, that’s pretty good for a guy who will average at least 16ppg-10rpg for the next 3-4 years, while demanding some serious attention from the opposing defense down low.

    I’m just hoping Tyrus Thomas explodes at some point and maybe we can throw him, a pick and some change for a solid low post scoring threat like Jefferson; Mullens can be thrown in if necessary, but I would like a big guiy like him off the bench. Mullens can be resign for $25M/4years, since only a team like Dallas or Houston would be inclined to throw Ryan Anderson’s or Taj Gibson’s money at a guy like Mullens.

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