Byron Mullens: Season Report Card « Queen City Hoops

Byron Mullens: Season Report Card

PER PER Against (Net)
Byron Mullens 13.02 18.66 (-3.46)

Strengths: Byron Mullens started the season off on an offensive hot streak that had the internet lauding the Bobcats savvy acquisition.  Byron showed a good looking jumper out to just short of the three-point line.  In part because of his offensive repertoire, Mullens was solid with the ball, turning it over with a turnover rate of just 10.5.  Additionally, Byron is very large – this makes it easy for him to get his jumper off, rebound when he chooses to focus on it, and a decent shot blocker…

Weaknesses: …When he is in the right position on the court.  Which is not often.  Byron struggled mightily to play team defense this season, with the team allowing 110.2 points per 100 possessions with Byron on the court, but just 107.8 without him.  Yeah – the league’s worst defense was even worse with Mullens manning the middle.  As seen above, Byron surrendered an atrocious PER to his opposition, and the Net PER mark allowed was 445th of the just over 500 players this season in the NBA.  Two other primary areas of weakness:  Rebounding, at both ends of the court, and offensively, Byron’s habit of catching the ball at the top of the key, holding it for several seconds, surveying the court, and ultimately putting up the jumper was not the most efficient offensive move.

Reasons for Optimism: Byron showed improvement on the boards over the course of the season – he went from bottom quartile over the first half of the season to right around average in the second half.  Oh, and that strong shooting start to the season is another reason for optimism – it was a string of strong performances from Byron and provides reason to think he could continue to do it in the future.  And again, Byron provides size on the defensive end, he just needs to learn to use it.

Reasons for Pessimism: Byron’s defense this season was horrible.  It’s hard to think about just how lost (and, at times, lazy) Byron looked in pick and roll coverage, and feel optimistic about him becoming a starting center.  The same effort thought creeps in when considering his overall rebounding numbers – does Byron really love playing basketball?

Forecast: Byron Mullens will be back next season, barring a trade.  The Bobcats acquired his rookie contract from the Thunder for a future second rounder, and the early returns were good.  The Bobcats have a potential starting center in Mullens, and at worst a rotation quality big, out of a second rebound pick.  Next season, Byron’s role will depend on who the Bobcats wind up drafting – if they get Anthony Davis, I expect Davis and Bismack to start next to each other, with Byron coming off the bench. But, if the Bobcats fall out of the top spot (again, the likely outcome, given their 25% chance at the top spot), Byron could be the Bobcats starting center next season.  And I’d be ok with that.  There’s potential there and that’s what the Bobcats are needing to identify and develop at this stage of building process.

3 comments to Byron Mullens: Season Report Card

  • SDS

    i love this guy as a sixth man, if we get davis i think he would be perfect, if not i say find a true center….
    As a sixth man he changes the pace of the game, he imeediatly brings offence to the second unit and very few backup center can really do to much against him, he brings those big centers out of the lane with his shooting ability and is just a mismatch for alot of players offensively…due to the fact that he is a terribl defender and lacks a good motor i wouldnt want him to be a starter…

    Bismack and Davis…if we get that look out for one of the best defensive teams in the paint for years to come, if not i say someone please kill stern he is an incompetant ass…

    i dont mean literally kill him, but i wouldnt mind him to finally retire or just someone take over for him…

    now here is a true question, after the draft or before, what are our needs, we need a true center, Bismack and DAvis could both be it, Davis if he can bulk up, Bismack if we draft him, we need a low post offensive threat, we need about 2 more 3 pt shooters for damn sure, and what else?

    so Charllote needs a true center, a low post scorer, anohter 3 pt shooter, and a defensive small foward..

  • drew

    I really think Byron can play and has a future in this league. Obviously he needs to make defense a priority but he has skills that most guys his size don’t have offensively. I think last year was basically like a rookie season for him. He spent 2 years in the d league while with the Thunder and so last year was his first true season to really play competitively against NBA opponents. If he continues to work hard he can be a serviceable player in this league. He’s a cheap low risk high reward player to have on the team.

  • Edmond

    Byron is just an inconsistant player with a questionable motor.. One game he plays zero defense, the next game he’s dunking on and over 7 foot dudes and grabbing big rebounds. I think he’s a player that could be a solid sixth man under the right coaching/system… But I’m the person that blames Paul Silas for most of the problems the bobcats have so..