Notable offseason additions: SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd overall pick), SG Ben Gordon, C Brendan Haywood, Head Coach Mike Dunlap
Notable offseason subtractions: PG DJ Augustin, SF Corey Maggette
Let’s say you’re a long-suffering fan of the Washington Wizards. You’ve seen limited success in the last forty or so years of ‘Zards (nee’ Bullets) basketball. The prospects for the season aren’t that bright, though a postseason berth is getting closer to a dreamy reality. At the very least however, the hardcore District basketball fan can go down to the Verizon Center and say “Hey, you know, the Wiz Kidz might not emerge victorious tonight, but at least I get to see John Wall. Hell, maybe Nene will light it up tonight. And I’d really like to take a look at Bradley Beal–I heard that guy could be a star.”
It’s the same in Milwaukee (Brandon Jennings), Cleveland (Kyrie Irving) and New Orleans (Anthony Davis). Even in Orlando and Phoenix, you’re in state of the art arenas watching teams with a tradition of winning. Your favorite squad might not roll out a marquee season, but you have a reason to root and something to look for when you show up live. Hope, no matter how distant, is apparent and exciting.
Not so for YOUR…Charlotte Bobcats.
Looking at North Carolina’s only professional sports team’s 2012-2013 roster, there seems to be just about nothing to look for when attending a ‘Cats game. Charlotte is coming off of arguably the worst season in NBA history, finishing 7-59 and a .106 winning percentage that ranks as the most futile of all-time. They ended the year with 23 consecutive losses, including an 0 for April. As awful as the season was, the nightmare didn’t stop with their concluding 20-point L to the Knicks.
The silver lining to any awful team’s pitiful regular season campaign is the blessing (or curse) of the NBA Draft Lottery. In it, the Bobcats supposedly had the best chance of gaining the number one overall pick, a.k.a. the Final Four Most Outstanding player, new gold medalist and Frieda-Calo-Halloween-costume-ready Anthony Davis.
Charlotte ended up with the second pick. Womp womp. In this case, second place truly was the first loser. There no doubt was talent in the 2012 Draft other than Davis, but the talent gap, at least at the moment, seems canyon-like.
Looking at the team’s developing young core, future prospects aren’t exactly clear. Last year’s two lottery picks, G Kemba Walker and F Bismack Biyombo, showed very modest returns in their rookie seasons. Walker averaged just over 12 points and 4 assists a game, but at 36% shooting and a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. Kemba was reminiscent of fellow Huskie Ben Gordon, but not so much in the ease at which he scored, but rather the streakiness at which did it. Biyombo flashed bits of his extraordinary defensive potential suggested by his tremendous athleticism, throwing down a nightly 5 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. However, Biyombo looked confused for the most part and overwhlemed by the speed of the NBA game. The most telling metric of their performance is that even on a team as weak as the Bobcats, the two rooks didn’t shine at all through the muck. Neither man was able to break through for 1st or 2nd All-Rooki… Read more...