ESPN.com has continued their off-season prediction series and yesterday they tackled the Eastern Conference. They have the Bobcats finishing 11th in the conference, missing the playoffs by 4 games.
They summarized the expectation, saying the Cats were in purgatory:
Michael Jordan's Bobcats are stuck in purgatory, according to our panel: too talented and well-coached to be terrible and get a high lottery pick, but not talented enough to make their first-ever playoff run. So what does all that mediocrity and a swap of Emeka Okafor for Tyson Chandler get you? Another 35-47 season.
The thing to focus on is where they are in the standings – win totals are tough to predict, but forming a consensus around the ordering of a list can be a bit easier. Focusing on that aspect, it seems the Bobcats are predicted to join the bottom tier of the Eastern Conference next season: 3 teams at the top, 3 solidly in the playoffs, 4 hunting for the last 2 berths, and then the 5 outsiders.
Do I agree? Kind of soon to say, really – the Bobcats still have Raymond Felton to figure out and I assume will make some kind of move for another power forward? And there is a certain small shooting guard still on the market…I think I will hold off a bit longer before making any predictions.