3-on-3: Revised Expectations for the Bobcats? « Queen City Hoops

3-on-3: Revised Expectations for the Bobcats?

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network7 games into the season, and the Bobcats already have 4 wins. Last year, it took 30 games to get 4 wins. And while the consensus was that the Bobcats would be improved this year, it was also generally accepted they would still be very bad. Here at QueenCityHoops, we were fairly pessimistic before the season began, and wanted to take this opportunity to review the early season and reflect on what remains.

1. What player’s performance has been most surprising to this point?

Mathew: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Sure, he was the number two pick in the draft and uber-talented, but to think he could contribute in such a way this early on is a big surprise. We knew he would start off stronger on the defensive end, but he’s already the Bobcats’ best perimeter defender and his offense has been more than serviceable. Very encouraging.

Spencer: There are numerous worthy candidates here, but I’m going with Kemba. After last season I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kemba. I knew that adding Sessions and Gordon would open the floor up for Kemba, but didn’t see these results coming this early in the season. Kemba is averaging 19.1 PTS/36 min while shooting 43% from the field. Those shooting numbers aren’t necessarily groundbreaking, but the real surprise comes in when you consider how much Kemba is valuing the basketball- he’s averaging 5.2 assists and only 1.9 turnovers/36 min. That’s right at a 5/1 assists/turnover ratio and that’s an extremely encouraging sign to Kemba’s progression as a PG. Especially when you consider the alarming rate he turned the ball over last season. Charlotte is 5th best in the league this season in turnover rate and Kemba is a huge reason for that. He’s making an impact on all ends of the floor and turning into a leader. Ramon Sessions cool, calm and collected presence is certainly just what Kemba needed and the additions made to put more scoring around the young PG seem to be just the right recipe so far.

Brett: I am going to say Byron Mullens, and acknowledge the effort he’s putting forth on the boards (and for the most part on defense – he’s still not good on that end, but he’s been better). I wasn’t surprised about his love of the three-point attempt in the first few games: Based on the pre-season, we knew he was going to be shooting them. But the good news is that he has dialed that back in the last 3 games, and has started to move closer to the basket. The play late against the Wolves where he drove to the basket and followed his miss with a rebound and a dunk was a strong, aggressive play, and a sign of what he can do.

2. Who is the MVP (at the not-quite one-tenth pole)?

Mathew: Kemba Walker. Kemba leads the team in PER at 22.3 through seven games and has shown huge improvement since not only last year, but this preseason. He’s shooting it much more efficiently and taking care of the ball (9.1% TO rate). He’s also been a pest on the defensive end.

Spencer: Ramon Sessions. He’s turned into ‘Mr. Do It All’ so far this season. As I touched on in the question above, his calm presence on the floor is something that Bobcats needed as badly as anything else. Sessions is the type of player, whether or not he’s having a good game, can keep a teams (especially a young team) emotions in check. Take last night for example- he’s on the FT line with a chance to put Charlotte up 3 with less than 30 sec. to play, but he misses both. Not phased. Keeps composer, makes good defensive effort to force Alexey Shved baseline and into a tough shot on next play and then directs everyone into position, defensively, after Kemba’s game winner with just less than a second left. So, if it’s not clear by now, I’m giving Sessions the MVP accolade mainly because of his leadership. His stats have been nothing short of impressive as well, though. Sessions is averaging 21.4 PTS, 6 AST & 4.5 REB/36 min. Most impressive stat- 8.6 FTA/36 min. Tyrus Thomas is 2nd on team in FTA/36 min at 5.6.

Brett: I almost went with Kemba for the biggest surprise and for MVP – he’s been much better here in the early going. His PER is over 22 and his field goal percentage is up nearly 7 percentage points from last year (43.4% to 36.6%). His usage to last year has been similar, but he’s reduced his turnovers. While he forced things a bit in the 4th against the Wolves (with 3 blocks against as he drove into triple teams and forced up shots), he also executed a beautiful crossover, step-back into a jumper for the win. He’s good.

3. What’s your new projected record for the team (and what was it before the games counted)?

Mathew: I projected the team for 20 wins in my season preview post. At 4-3, the Bobcats have certainly jumped out to a surprising start and more than given themselves a chance to run past my projection. However, the Bobcats have yet to beat a (likely) playoff team and last night’s T-Wolves squad was playing a handful of guys that won’t log that many minutes for the rest of the season. But I do feel confident the team wins more than the 20 games I originally penciled them in for. Not only because they’ve jumped out to such a nice start (which does matter), but because they look like a much better team on the court than I expected. My revised projection? 28-54.

Spencer: Originally, I said the Bobcats would win 25 games and was significantly higher than almost every other projection that I saw prior to the season (/pats self on the back). I will go up just barely, though, to 27 projected wins for the team this season. When you consider the Bobcats weak schedule and the fact that their last two wins came against a win-less Wizards team that looks like they may have a chance at being the worst in the league and a Minnesota team that was an injury away from signing a guy off the street, well, let’s just say the road is going to get a lot tougher for the Bobcats. Nonetheless, this early season success is very refreshing and encouraging. Certainly seems like the rebuilding process has gained more momentum than anyone anticipated this early on.

Brett: I gave two projections for the team: Pessimistically, 13 wins. Optimistically, 21 wins. And those are both seeming a bit low now. So, I’ve gone back to my spreadsheet, and adjusted expectations – MKG has been better than expected, as well as Kemba and Byron. And I’ll say 26 wins. Am I hesitant to post this, because I think we may have to revise it again later this year? Not really – this team is out-performing expectations, and that’s been more exciting to observe and report on than the negative of being proven wrong.

19 comments to 3-on-3: Revised Expectations for the Bobcats?

  • charlottean

    2. dunlap
    3. 20 wins

    let’s not get ahead here. we beat indiana without granger, dallas without marion or dirk, washington without wall or nene, and minnesota without minnesota. i’ve been one to say I want them to lose to get another top pick, but honestly…..i don’t anymore. It’s not to say that they’re ready to put the foot on the gas, but I think they have the pieces. We can let detroit bring us another top pick and maybe portland too. The restrictions on those picks actually stand a good chance of 1 if not both of them being top 10 picks. I don’t look at this group and feel like we need much of anything. MAYBE another big but that’s more for depth than for 36 mpg. Biyombo WILL develop into a bigger role as haywood fades out of his. Mullens WILL own his role or rather IS owning it. you can always get quality veteran help for the minimum when you have your house in order and for the first time in franchise history it looks like we have just that.

    literally, all we need to do is keep this team together. Improve from within, not through trades or free agency. Bring in a pick every year who adds to the team but not expected to change the franchise. I was thinking horrible this year, mediocre next year, playoffs 2014-15. I’m thinking playoffs next year.

    kemba is still learning shot selection and passing, but he is NOTHING like what he looked like over the summer or last year. complete 180. Where before you saw glimpses of greatness, now you see glimpses of his former self. He let minnesota back in the game last night, but then he made the big shot. That was more valuable for him than putting them away early. keep em together. this group of 8 or 9 can win in 4 years.

  • angelo archambo

    i say that the bobcats can go anywhere from 26-56 to 41-41 this season depends on how the chemistry works out and if the can have few strokes of luck. i know that we have picks from Portland and Detroit so if everything works out than we could get a good big man this year which would match up good with MKD and Kemba. i think that bobcats need to work on picking up defensively though and get back to the only playoff season because we have the potential to score every time we get the ball but we should use those two picks that we got from Portland and Detroit to get a good defensive power forward and a real tight defensive center than watch out for the bobcats in 2013-2014 and years to come.

  • 4aseer

    I am not sure if they can beat last years record. We are still almost the lowest in assist in the league and looking right at getting killed by the grizzly bear who just thumped Oklahoma and now wants to come and disrespect us on our court on saturday night.

  • Tim

    I’m very excited to see where the team heads this season and I’ll say they end up with around 30 wins just because of Athleticism and hustle.

    As for the draft picks from the Wallace trade both the picks from Portland and Detroit are protected, The Portland pick is protected as follows – top 12 protected in the 2013, 2014, and 2015, and unprotected in 2016. The Detroit pick is protected as well – top 14 protected in the 2013 draft, top 8 in 2014, top 1 in 2015, and unprotected in 2016. Also don’t forget that the Bobcats owe a first round pick to the Bulls for the Thomas trade which is top 12 protected in 2013, top 10 protected in 2014, top 8 protected in 2015, unprotected in 2016


    Charlotte still needs to change their name….good hustle and play but still not enough attention being paid to them or their brand. Fans here still hate the name.

    • Brad

      There are a few of you that want Shinn’s Hornets back, but the BOBCATS are our team. Get behind them or get out of the way!

      • Tyler

        Brad, I disagree…most local North Carolinians would like to see the Hornets name come back. It is of historical and cultural significance to those of us who understand the origins of the name. I’ll cheer for our team regardless of the name, but would prefer to see the Hornets name come back home!

  • charlottean

    not likely that we both lose our pick to chicago AND get the pick from portland the same year, more likely we end up with 2 picks one year and none the other. as for detroit…..that pick is going to be unprotected in 2016. no way they make the playoffs this year and highly unlikely they aren’t in the bottom 8 next year as well. here’s to hoping that greg monroe forces a trade or that joe dumars pulls another ben gordon/charlie villinueva summer.

    no to the name change. if they change it, it should be to cougars, not hornets. get over it. she’s your ex gf. pasado.

    angelo, i think they have the defensive center (biyombo) and the defensive power forward (tyrus thomas) they just need to develop biyombo and continue to get steady contribution from thomas. if we play like we have the past few games, we’ll lead the league in blocked shots easily.

  • 4aseer

    Make a name for yourself on saturday night when the big bad mean grizzly bears comes to town and so hungry to and starving for another win and don’t see nothing in the way but these Bobcats (women like cats) who I’m sure are ready to have a statement game and come out and blow a team out, blow em out! Its nothing but disrespect, we don’t even have anybody is in the all star game, we ain’t got no rings, nobody likes us because last year, according to everybody we have no chance at the playoffs ect ect

  • 4aseer

    we ain’t got no championship banners

  • 4aseer

    How can you tolerate it any longer not to have a big championship ring for everyone?

  • Forest

    This 4aseer guy is an “interesting” (Brett’s edit) commentator to say the least. “Make a name for yourself, we have no banners, we have no rings.” Ok, it’s been a long time since a basketball team has been successful in Charlotte. Stop whining, stop complaining, stop pointing out all the negatives of the past, and understand what is going on right now. That’s exactly what Coach Dunlap is trying to do. Put the past behind us and focus on what we can do as a team right now. Not everyone wins a championship in their career. Great HoF NBA players haven’t won NBA Championships. This team will take time to build, but they are well on there way to getting it done. Chemistry, camaraderie, a likable coach, everything that Charlotte and the front office are doing right now is right, for once. They need to play every game like it was their last and give out a statement to the NBA. And respect will come. Say Charlotte comes out and upsets Memphis tomorrow. Think every team in the NBA will respect them? Think the refs will throw a little bias their way? Of course not! You don’t garner that respect until you’ve played at a level like the Heat, the Celtics, or the Lakers. You have to get there to get the respect.

  • Tsai

    Any win is great for the Bobcats. They are competitive,aggressive, and show a will to win. Last year against the T’wolves they would have folded there tent and lost the game. This year they believe they can win. As long as they defend the perimeter they will be in games.

  • 4aseer

    ahaha sometimes it helps to have your mind on the big prize just to get over a little hill

  • 4aseer

    Charlotte Bobcats!!

  • AJC

    The Bobcats are playing well, and even though they have not beaten a team, with there stars, that are going to be a playoff team, they are playing with confidence and making people in Charlotte notice the team. Yeah, they are still going to be bad, but the way they are playing is exciting right now. I think they finish with 25 to 30 wins, and have no shot at the playoffs, but what they are doing is executing their game plan, and Dunlap is making this team hustle and play pretty good defense. After last season, there was no hope, at least this team gives us hope for the future.

    It does not matter what the team name is, whether is Bobcats or Hornets or Flight or Cougars, if the product on the floor is terrible no one is going to watch, if they win people will start to support this team. Winning cures all, right?

  • 4aseer

    i never did like shin anyways

  • 4aseer

    If walker goes up for the lay in and three guys are under the basket trying to block it, how many people does that leave open?

  • 4aseer

    The only thing anyone can really expect is for the team to play smart basketball, when to shoot, when to pass, use common sense, be creative, assists, let the chips fall where they may.