It's no secret, the Charlotte Bobcats, a team that's always been known to overachieve, are underachieving this year. With a record of 8-15, the playoffs are still in reach, but who would be proud of being a playoff team under .500? I don't see things getting too much better because it seems like people are unhappy. And as any true NBA fan knows, good chemistry can't be underrated. It's exactly why the Miami Heat went from being the leauge's biggest disappointment in years to being probably the scariest team we've seen in years. Good chemistry. But something is wrong here. Chemistry is nowhere near as good as it was last year, and it always seems to come back to one man, Raymond Felton. However, since Felts is no longer a member of our team, we can no longer place the blame on him. Recently, the coaches have been pointing at the players, the players have been pointing at eachother, and we, the fans, have all been pointing at the team. Everyone is blaming eachother. But, who do you blame the most for the Bobcat's recent struggles? The five top candidates after the jump:
Why Blame Mike? The owner of the Bobcats, shortly after becoming the owner, let one thing be known loud and clear, if the Bobcats aren't contending for a championship, we won't be near the luxury tax. Made sense, but I really didn't take his threats serious because I didn't see anyway we could get under the limit. Insert Erick Dampier. His unguaranteed contract gave Jordan a way to carry out his threats and show us that he was serious. He traded a rejuvenated Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajincia for Damp, Eduardo Najera, and Matt Carrol. He also let Felton go for a contract (2yr +1 yr team option at 7.5mil) that's looking VERY reasonable right now. Even with these guys, the Bobcats weren't going to contend for a title, but it makes you wonder exactly how good we could be at this point had Jordan not decided to go the cheap route. I understand his intentions this year, I just hopes he doesn't make a habit out of it.
Why Blame Larry? I'll tell you why. Because it's no longer ILBIT. His love for Raymond Felton has just become, well, awkward. I've honestly never seen so much love between a player and coach (other than Fox and Delhomme of the Panthers). But Larry seems to just have lost his passion for coaching. I was one of the ones screaming for Larry to come back for one more year, but with how he has been acting, I'm kinda wishing he would've just taken the 76'ers or Clippers jobs last offseason. Players just don't even seem interested in playing for him anymore. And it's easy to see why. All you have to do is look at the ridiculous spins that he had Raymond do and now he is having D.J. do. You know, the one where no one is within 10 feet of the PG, but he still spins just for the hell of it? Instructing players to do such things lets me know you just want them to be robots and react to what you would do rather than what's actually going on on the floor. Playing the "right way" got us to the playoffs last year, but it's only giving everyone headaches this year. Maybe it's time to retire Larry. I'm not even going to mention Derek Brown and Tyrus Thomas ' playing time.
Why Blame Jackson? Because I haven't heard pressure bust one lately. Sure, Captain Jack is shooting a career high percentage, but can anyone even tell? His scoring is down, his rebounding is down, and at times he looks down himself. Like he just doesn't want to be here anymore. I don't know exactly what happened between last year and this year, but Jackson just isn't the same player. I mean, he's not anywhere near as consistent. Last year, I seen him just take over games at will. This year, I've seen him do it at times, but only when the team has been playing well and everyone was getting in on the action. Jackson has always been a complimentary type player, but in Charlotte he's been the HNIC on offense, a role that just doesn't seem to suite him as well anymore. I think a lot of it has to do with him being "targeted" by the refs this year and not playing with the emotion that he has over the years, but I don't see that stopping other highly emotional players from performing. Let's just hope he doesn't get suspended anymore anytime soon.
Why Blame Crash? Because he just may have the most predicatable game in the league at this point. GET TO THE RIM!!! And run over anyone in your way. This has lead to charge, after charge, after charge, causing our offense to constantly stall. Well, it's just one of the reasons for our pathetic offense. I won't put it all on him. But like Jackson, he just isn't playing at the level he was last year. His points are down, his rebounds are down, and his defense hasn't been anywhere near as good as it was last year. Almost makes you wonder if we've already seen the best that we have out of Gerald. I mean, I still think he's a very useful player even at his current production rate, but at the same time Gerald did something I never thought he would, and that was point fingers (at D.J.). It's almost like dealing with a totally different player. Gerald may just end up being our best trade bait for the future, or he just may remain our corner stone. I'm kind of on the fence on which I'm preferring right now. I've gotta see more effort from Gerald and less finger pointing before my confidence is restored to the level it was last year in him.
Why Blame D.J.? Because he is not Raymond. As Gerald say, he doesn't have the "fight" that Raymond did. And though he's putting up decent numbers, you have to wonder just how much can really be his fault when Jackson, Brown, and Wallace have all pointed the finger at him in one way or another. He constantly gets beat on defense by bigger guards and still isn't the greatest distributor in the world, but he's doing pretty good I think. He's obviously just not doing as good as some people think he can do. This one is hard for me to judge, because I can't tell what effort or lack of effort he's giving in practice, but you just have to take into account that so many people are saying he needs to improve.
So RufusonFire, of the people mentioned, who do you think is the center piece of the Bobcats problems this year and what should be done with them?