Different roster, same result? Not if Orlando has a say in this « Queen City Hoops

Different roster, same result? Not if Orlando has a say in this

Most ‘experts’ will tell you that the Bobcats, although seemingly heading in correct direction, will carry the worst record in the NBA again next season, but I’m here to offer some hope to the contrary.

I’m not writing this post to talk about salary cap issues or focus on what any player on the Bobcats roster is owed next season, but rather to dissect the talent that is now in Charlotte. For starters, how it’s drastically better than last season, and secondly, how it may not actually be the worst in the league anymore thanks to a blockbuster trade that finally shipped Dwight Howard out of Orlando.

Last season, the Bobcats leading scorer was Gerald Henderson who averaged 15.1 PPG. And it wasn’t even close. Well, Maggette averaged 15 PPG, but that was in only 32 appearances compared to Hendo’s 55. The next guy on the list- rookie Kemba Walker at 12.1 PPG on 36.6% from the field. Fast forward to this coming season. Hendo and Kemba both could potentially be out of the top two on the team in the scoring department with the additions of Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Hendo is still likely to be one of the two scorers on the team, but you get the drift- offensively, Charlotte has definitely improved.

In 2010-11 Sessions averaged 13.3 PPG on 46.6% from the field in 26.3 MPG. If my projection for him is accurate at all for next season, he will see very similar minutes and carry a large scoring role, so I’m going to go ahead and presume that the offensive numbers climb from the ’10-’11 season- this knocks Kemba down the list, at least.

Last season, Ben Gordon averaged 12.5 PPG in 26.5 MPG. Gordon should see very similar minutes in the Queen City this coming season, and like Sessions, should expect to also take on a large chunk of the scoring role off the bench- presumably. Assuming Gordon does average north of 13 PPG, that knocks Kemba down the scoring list again and now the Bobcats have 4 players that could potentially average 12+ PPG. Imagine that.

Lastly, Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 PPG last season at Kentucky in 31 MPG. That was college and this is the NBA, but remember that Gille the Kid was playing with a team full of current pro’s, so the wealth had to be shared, in a sense. MKG isn’t an offensive force by any stretch of the imagination, but he is very capable of scoring is double figures every night if he gets 30+ minutes, which he should. Now, grasp yourself. Are you ready for this? The 2012-13 Charlotte Bobcats could possibly have five players to average in double figures over the course of a season. That’s 50+ guaranteed points every game. WOW. Not to mention Byron Mullens, who’s without a doubt going to get his 15 shots up every night.

Okay, I’m going to tone down the sarcasm and get back to the main point. We didn’t go out and get any all-stars, but the Bobcats did improve as far as offensive production is concerned and when you break it down, they improved drastically. Sessions and Gordon are going to add offensive punches to help Kemba be more of the true PG he’s attempting to evolve into and hopefully open up the floor for Henderson to continue his maturation as an all around offensive threat in this league.

Best case scenario next season, Bobcats win 27 games. So yes, on the team chalkboard in the locker room this coming season under ‘season goal’ it will read 27-55 (sarcasm). Baby steps.

Now, allow us to briefly take a look at the team that Charlotte will be duking it out with for rights to own the worst record and highest #1 overall odds. Orlando Magic. This time last week the Magic looked like they were going to be a dysfunctional, low seed playoff team, but their wish came true and now they may have the right to be just flat out awful. Consolation- Dwight Howard is finally out of their hair and they got a lot back for him. Noticed I said they got ‘a lot’ back, but in no way insinuated that what they received was good. There’s no way that this was the best offer on the table for the Magic, but in the end it seems they got exactly what they wanted- the worst offer so they could get really bad, a lot quicker. It’s the classic Oklahoma City model and as Bobcats fans we know all about it- been seeing it right in front of our eyes for two season now. Oh, not to mention Orlando will also have a first year head coach at the healm- Jacque Vaughn.

Comparing the Bobcats and Magic projected starting lineups would give the slight edge to Orlando. Jameer Nelson is better than Kemba at this point. Afflalo is a better player than Hendo. Turkoglu is better than Kidd-Gilchrist by default- MKG is a rookie. Glen Davis > Tyrus/Mullens/Biyombo- umm, yes. Brendan Haywood will score the one victory for Charlotte as he’s got the slight advantage over Gustavo Ayon/Nikola Vucevic. Now, these two teams benches are a different story. I’ll take the likes of Sessions, Gordon, Tyrus, Reggie Williams and Mullens all day over Quentin Richardson, J.J. Redick, Al Harrington and a gaggle of rookies/second year guys. So, the Magic certainly have the advantage when it comes to the starting lineups, but when you look at the overall body of work on each roster, my natural bias leads me to believe that the Bobcats may just find a way to sneak into the 4th spot of the southeast division and the 29th spot in the NBA.

Does any of this matter at all when next season is all said and done? Nope, not really. Unless you’re one of those people who really believes that going all out for best odds to land #1 pick is really worth it. If you are, see last season’s result for the Bobcats and then try to tell me it was worth it with a straight face. I’m simply fascinated with the thought that there is actually a possibility Charlotte could avoid being the worst team in the NBA this season. After last year, I just assumed we’d be the worst team in NBA history every single year for the remainder of my existence.

For the record, here are Eddy Rivera’s (ESPN TrueHoop blog ‘Magic Basketball’) thoughts on this debate.

“I think Orlando will be slightly better than Charlotte still. I do think they’ll be duking it out for 4th and 5th in the Southeast and also the worst record in the NBA.”

So, if you’re a betting man and in Vegas between now and the start of the NBA season- who you taking to finish with the worst record. Orlando or Charlotte?

14 comments to Different roster, same result? Not if Orlando has a say in this

  • Just keep this in mind when discussing Charlotte–for the Bobcats, there is no where else to go but up. The FO made some solid moves casting away Corey Maggete for Ben Gordon, signing Ramon Session and picking up Brendan Haywood of waivers. If they even double their win total from last season, their season will already be considered a success

  • SDS

    if orlando is lower then the #1 spot and yet still hit the loterry well-then no way is the loterry not rigged^^,just gunna say that^^

    well its kinda obvious that Charllote would get better this year^^, personally see a low of 22 games won through a high of 33, Orlando idk bout, ima just go ahead and say i think the worse of the worst this year will be #1 TheSuns, #2 ORlando, #3Charllote, # 4 Hornets-i could see the hornets being even worse-they lost 3 starters from last year-and that was their 3 good starters^, they dont have a true center but a very skinny pf-in davis, a wannabe less athletic more kobesc just throwing up shots in little rivers, and has no true PG-literally they are a mess, they have 3 pfs non of which can really play center-Anderson, Davis, and i think Ayon? they dont have a sf, they dont have a true center, and they dont have a pg-they could easily be #1 in the worst category as #4

  • Edmond

    Dude.. There’s a few teams Charlotte may be better than.. Orlando, Houston, Toronto, Phoenix could be teams that finish with a worse record than the bobcats.. Even the hornets too.

  • Spencer

    I would say there’s absolutely no way that Charlotte is better than PHX and TOR, but you’re certainly entitled to your own opinion. TOR should be competing for the 8th seed in the east.

  • SDS

    yea ima scratch off that phoenix remark^^, forgot that along with the return of gragic they got luis scole and Beasly….

    Dragic/marshall at the pont
    shannon brown/wesley johnson at the 2…
    Micheal Beasley/Dudley at the 3
    Luis scola/markief morris at the 4
    and Gotat-under rated center/Frye at the wll center^^

    not a bad team-forgot how although they lost Nash they did get alot of talent in the FA this year….but in place of the suns charllote will go down to #2-IMO, Hornets to #3, and the kings?? maybe to #4

    The kings are like the wizards-or what used to be the wizards before they learned that unmature talent isnt goodm for a team-the kings are easily a playoff team when looking at their talent IMO, but they have the crappiest team mentality and all those players are more ME then WE type of players so they still gunna suck^^

  • Tim in Surrey

    I certainly think Charlotte’s roster is better, but I’m just as certain it isn’t better on the offensive end. Have you watched very many of these new guys play? First of all, Gordon is not the same guy he used to be. He’s no upgrade on Magette, and Magette likely would’ve played more than half the upcoming season. That was a salary move, not a talent upgrade. Second, Sessions is a remarkably inefficient player. When LA replaced the now-fossilized Derek Fisher with Sessions, they were actually forced to rely MORE on Steve Blake. Think about that for a second. And Kidd-Gilchrist is not likely to be a consistent double-figure scorer for quite some time. Once he gets about five games on tape, opposing defenses will take away everything he does in the halfcourt and his only offense will come on the break or on put-backs. Book it. You don’t have to look any further than the Charlotte bench for proof: Jeff Taylor did it last season. Each time Kentucky played Vanderbilt, he took away more of K-G’s limited offensive game until he shut him down completely in the SEC finals. That’s not a slag against K-G who will be a wonderful player. You just need to recognize who he really is. And right now, he’s an extremely limited offensive player whose primary value will be as a defender, rebounder, glue guy, and agent of Chaos. Frankly, Jeff Taylor is more likely to be a double-figure scorer this year. But K-G is young, gifted, relatively raw on offense, and very hungry, so he will gradually become a strong offensive player. It just won’t happen next year.

    However, scoring is only one part of the game. Charlotte will be much stronger in other aspects: Passing, rebounding, chemistry, and especially defense. With Henderson, K-G, and Taylor they’ve now got three solid perimeter defender/rebounders to accompany Biyombo inside. Charlotte will defend and they will collect the missed baskets. On offense… They’ve pretty much got Byron Mullens and a bunch of irrational confidence guys (© Bill Simmons) jacking up ill-advised shots and a lot of guys who can run. That’s it. I don’t that will generate very many points against the likes of Miami, Boston, Philly, and Indiana, to say nothing of the stronger western conference teams.

    • jsn23nc

      I totally disagree with everything you said. First of all Ben Gordon is major improvement over Maggette. Gordon shot over 40 percent from the 3 point line and arounf 44 percent from the feild. Magette shot 36 percent from the feild which is terrible for a vetera player. Ramon Session shot about the same percent as Gordon which is good. Jeffrey Taylor shot over 40 percent from the 3 point line in college and has a smooth stroke. MKG will shoot good from the feild because he gets to the rim, all he needs to work on is improving his shooting range. Kemba should have somewhat of a breakout year because is Summer League, we finally started to see him play to his strengths and that attacking the rim. There are few guys that can stay in front of Kemba when he decides he wants to get to the rim. Biyombo and Mullens will imrpove because of increased playing time. The biggest improvement Charlotte will have will be on the defensive end with the players they have on roster and a defensive minded coach. I expect Charlotte to have a better season than most people because of those reasons.

  • Tony

    I still think the Bobcats are going to be the worst team in the league, they have no one that has any star potential at all, Ben Gordon is probably their best player which is always a negative. I just don’t see it, god the Bobcats need to be contracted. If they aren’t the worst team in the NBA then theyre the most boring. Boring players with no potential, boring style of play, rec league name(The Bobcats?), terrible NBA city that attracts absolutely NO good free agents, just awful awful awful.

    • bobcatsFAN.charlotte

      why contract a team that was just a 7th in the playoffs a few years ago and is now in rebuilding mode? you dont rebuild a team by overpaying players but by building up your younger core to be solid starters.

  • Connor

    I disagree with Tony. Charlotte Hornets attracted FAs. Teams that win will always attract talent. Have you ever been to Charlotte? you sound like some bitter kid from jersey who needs to troll to cope with the fact that the nets fled your market like the plague. No potential?? boring?? biyombo has the potential to be an electrifying shot blocker and MKG is getting Scottie pippen comparisons.

    Having said that, Charlotte might very well have the worst record in the NBA for next season. but your whole argument about Charlotte being boring and without potential doesn’t seem rational to me, seems like its coming from a place of bitterness. lets try to remember that OKC was sporting the worst record in the NBA not long ago.

  • Edmond

    Yeah, dont worry about Tony.. he’s just mad that he’s team is playing in Brooklyn now. How are the Bobcats boring anyways? Kemba who can make exciting plays and highlights, MKG made big play after big play for Kentucky and made the SC top 10 just off one summer league game, Bismack makes momentum changing blocks and even Byron Mullens can make big dunks.. But apparently watching Mr. Kardasian and Brook Lopez grab a bunch of rebounds is good basketball to watch. Back to the point.. I hope CHA doesn’t have the worst record in the nba again, especially so I won’t catch flak for it, but i wouldn’t mind CHA having a good shot at the #1 pick ( and actually getting it this time…) We’d be set after that.

  • SDS

    Edmond ^^ poor Edmond^^ dont u know only the teams that th good ol David Stern only gives the teams he likes the 1st overall pick?^^-i he doesnt like u, u will never get the 1st overall pick:( the best we charllote fans can hope for is probably another 2nd overall

    • Jimmy

      I totally agree with your statement about David Stern. There’s no way I can be convinced that this past lottery wan’t fixed. I think he’s a dictator and should be replaced.

  • Edmond

    I don’t believe the NBA lottery is fixed, i just believe the system is completely broken. Although its sketchy that the team that the NBA sold to Tom Benson won the lottery 1-2 months after the transaction all the while the worst team in NBA history ( record-wise ) gets the consellation prize, its just because the system is broken. It’s beyond ridiculous that CHA only had a 25% chance to get what they badly deserved, and i’m not just saying that because i wanted Anthony Davis badly.. Its just common sense. Plus, CHA got the #1 pick in ’92 i believe, and #2 picks aren’t all that bad for Charlotte either, just look at Alonzo Mourning or Emeka Okafor.