An NBA team promising to run more in training camp is a lot like that New Year's resolution to lose 20 pounds.
Sincerely pledged, yet easily dismissed as the months slide by.
This might be the exception: The Charlotte Bobcats' stated desire to run more is about how the roster evolved. Since the start of last season they've traded for a more athletic center in Tyson Chandler and a power forward with uncommon ballhandling skills in Boris Diaw.
The above good news is from Bonnell: Built for fast break, Bobcats plan to run. I am not going to go back in the archives and see if similar statements were made before last season, just in case. I'll stick with optimism for now.
Oh, and the title refers to this little statistical nugget: Last season, the Bobcats had an offensive efficiency of 106.82 and a defensive mark of 109.18 when they played a game with a pace below 90 possessions per 48 minutes (I looked at possessions per 48 minutes so as to accurately reflect games that were fast not games that were long (overtime and beyond)). Those are bad numbers, but they get better – sort of – when the Bobcats quickened the pace, to 90+ possessions: The offense dropped to 102.76 but the defense plummeted to 101.84. Sure, the offense was horrendous, but at least they won doing it.
Thoughts on those numbers: Almost entirely a function of turnovers – forced and committed. In the slow games, the Bobcats committed turnovers on 17.0% of possessions and forced them on just 15.0%. When the pace quickened, those rates went up: 18.3% by the Cats and 18.8% by their opponents.
I have not seen anything so far that makes me waver – it seems to be in the Bobcats interest to follow through on this pledge. It helped them last season to play a quicker pace and now they have a roster even better suited to that style of play. Hopefully, this is one of those New Year's Resolutions that sticks.