TrueHoop Network 2009-10 Season Preview: Charlotte Bobcats « Queen City Hoops

TrueHoop Network 2009-10 Season Preview: Charlotte Bobcats

Crystal Ball
The consensus prediction of the TrueHoop Network bloggers…and the best hopes of QueenCityHoops.

Crowd Says: 36-46
QueenCityHoops says: 37-45

Yes We Can!
People who say the 2009-2010 Charlotte Bobcats will suck are so wrong be-
cause…

They have a chance to be one of the top-5 defensive teams in the league. No,
really, hear me out. After finishing last season at 7th in the league in defensive
efficiency, the Bobcats have a couple things in their favor on D:
Time and talent: The Bobcats got out to a slow start last season, at both ends of
the court. Prior to the trade for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell, the Cats were just 16th
in the league in defense, but were 6th from that point on. With another summer
under Larry Brown (and a starting quality power forward from the start of the
season), CLT will see dividends defensively.

Tyson Chandler: While the Bobcats took a step back offensively (they can only
fall so far having finished 27th in offensive efficiency last season) as a result
of the trade of Emeka Okafor for Tyson Chandler, it is not hard to imagine the
impact of an athletic 7-footer manning the center for the Bobcats. While Emeka
was a solid defensive presence in the middle, he lacked size at 6-foot-10 and
struggled against some of the leagues more imposing big men. Tyson, at (an
admittedly lanky) 7-foot-1 is a defensive force in the middle, as his defensive
numbers were superior to Emeka’s nearly across the board last season. That
superiority is summed up by a PER allowed of 12.49 to 15.97 for Emeka.
Enough puppies and sunshine though – I only said the Bobcats would not suck,
but I also have to say they won’t be great either. And you do not have to look
hard to see why: Offense. As mentioned above, they were 27th in the league last
year in points per possession and the trade for Diaw and Bell did not have the same benefits at that end – before the trade 27th, after 26th. Prior to the trade,
the Bobcats were 3.9 points per 100 possessions off the league average, and
“only” 3.0 below after, but that was not enough difference to move them sig-
nificantly up the ranks. With the Bobcats trading their best post scorer and not
bringing in new offensive weapons, it is tough to imagine an improvement there.

Where does that leave the team? The same place the Cats were last
year: Great defense + equally bad offense = average. With an improving divi-
sion around them, that equation does not get them their first playoff berth. But at
least they won’t suck.

No You Won’t:
A rousing dissent from a rival blogger.
It's not that this is Larry Brown having an attack of ego and putting together a team that might have been good in 1998, because even that might be overstating them. This is a team that might have appeared acceptable in 1998, but they'd still actually have been terrible. Basically, this team is Zebrahead.
-John Krolik of Cavs The Blog

Tweeet of the team:
Transformers 2 is the ish. I didn’t think fight scenes could be that good with
robots.
-@nazrmohammed
I did an entire post comparing Bobcat players to Transformers, how could I
resist?

Or
Watching the Southeast Division get tougher by the day. Orl, Mia, Wash, Atl are
top 6 in the East now after trades the last 2 days.
-@mthompson8
And the Bobcats spent their summer break trading Emeka for Tyson and…that’s
it.

On the Record
Single best quote regarding the team from the last 12 months.
“I think Larry has done a great job,” Jordan said. “He’s come in, he’s evaluated,
he’s tried to fit players within his style. We’ve had conversations constantly about certain players. And if certain players didn’t fit, then we’ve tried to better the
scenario. There have been situations where we didn’t agree, but then there are a
lot of situations we did.”
– Michael Jordan.
Since Larry has joined the Bobcats, only three players remain – Gerald Wal-
lace, Raymond Felton, and Nazr Mohammed. He has influenced draft choices
and pushed for trades to overhaul the roster. By the end of this season, will any
remnants of the pre-LB era remain?

THE 2008-09 ALMANAC

Some key stats from last season
Offense: 27th

Defense: 7th

Pace: 27th

Team Factor

Strength: Turnovers Forced (5th)
Weakness: Turnovers (30th)

THE PLAY
Down a single point with 9.2 seconds to play in a must-win game. What’s the play?
D.J. Augustin at the top of the key, Gerald Wallace on the left wing, Raymond
Felton on the right. Boris Diaw sits on the left block as Chandler comes up to set
the screen. As D.J. goes around the screen, driving down the right, Boris drifts
to the top of the arc. Kick out to Ray as his man collapses, swing to the top of the
key to Boris. The 3-pointer is up and…

The Player:
The fan favorite the crowd will be chanting for to see some action…maybe just me in this case, but that's ok.
In Alexis Ajinca, the Bobcats have an unknown – a 7-foot-1″ “power” forward
with a 7–foot-7 wingspan…and the league’s possible lowest weight-to-reach
ratio. Until Ajinca puts on a few more pounds, Bobcat fans will continue to be
intrigued and unsure of what to make of him.

If You're Watching the Bottom Line, You're Watching This
The single biggest spreadsheet issue hanging over the team.
Who will be the Bobcats’ next owner? The team is up for sale. What other moves
does Bob Johnson make to increase the attractiveness to potential buyers?
Emeka was shipped out for a player with a shorter deal to decrease liabilities
on the books. Will a similar swap be made for Gerald Wallace? For Boris Diaw?
How far does he slim down the organization to escape the financial burden it
has become?

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