Help Wanted - Must Be Tall -

Help Wanted – Must Be Tall

A by the numbers look at why the Bobcats need post help
With the draft approaching like a glacier, slowly but surely advancing, I thought about the Bobcats' pressing needs: More quality depth in the post and a backup point guard (preferably one that does not have a fork sticking out of their back and is also able to ride all rides at major theme parks). I think there is no debate amongst Cats fans that these are the main issues that face the team (on the court, anyway), but I suppose there could be some contemplation of which need is more dire. While I will not declare this a definitive answer, one pass of the numbers makes a strong case for Love/Lopez/Randolph/Arthur/(other big man even close to being a lottery talent).

Efficiencies by size
Barring a truly unforseen event, the Bobcats will begin next year with 4 starting spots set: Emeka Okafor at 4/5, Geral Wallace at 3/4, Jason Richardson at 2/3 and Raymond Felton at the 1. Who will feel that lost spot? Well, that is too soon to be answered, but we do know how that group fared this past season, depending on who was with them. But my interest lies in the size of the player that filled that 5th slot. On to the efficiencies:

First group: Wing players
Jared Dudley (317 possessions), Derek Anderson (60), Walter Herrmann (9)

Offensive Efficiency: 106.3 Points per 100 Poss
Defensive Efficiency: 99.5
Net Efficiency: +6.8

Second group: Guards
Jeff McInnis (949 possessions), Matt Carroll (481), Earl Boykins (10)

Offensive Efficiency: 105.0 Points per 100 Poss
Defensive Efficiency: 104.9
Net Efficiency: +0.1

Caveat: Remove McInnis (and you are basically left with Carroll but regardless) and these numbers improve dramatically – Just a thought, but the Bobcats may not want to bring Jeff back. Please?

Third group: Bigs
Nazr Mohammed (441 possessions), Primoz Brezec (362), Ryan Hollins (107), Jermareo Davidson (32)

Offensive Efficiency: 96.7 Points per 100 Poss
Defensive Efficiency: 105.9
Net Efficiency: -9.2

Caveat: None – The numbers are bad for any of these players combined with the core 4.

But what if Raymond got hurt?
If Raymond were injured, wouldn't the team suffer more from the lack of a good backup? Actually, no: Without Felton this past season (making doing with a combination of McInnis, Boykins, and Carroll), the Bobcats struggled, but only to a -8.3 net efficiency. Horrible, yes. As bad as having to play big? No.

Whenever the Bobcats had to/chose to play big, with a more traditional lineup, they got beat down and their lunch money stolen. While there seems to be only a single reliable option in each of the other “weight classes”, with Jared and Matt, quantity does not replace quality when it comes to having 3 big men who only seem to help the other team win. Is the draft the place to fill this gap? Maybe, maybe not, but it needs to be addressed for the Cats to take another step forward after last season's disappointment.
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