So here we are...........On the morning of January 13th, 2012, our Bobcats sit at 2-9, good for second worst in the south east division behind the woeful Washington Wizards and coming off a flopper against the Atlanta Hawks in which the Bobcats again suffered a lopsided loss.Time to throw in the towel right? We are the same old pathetic Bobcats that we've always been. Nothing has changed. Any glimmer of hope that we had starting out the season with that win over Milwaukee and the close loss to Miami was all just a dream. The days of Cam Newton and Derek Jeter taking time out of their busy schedules to watch our team and chit chat with M.J. courtside are now just a distant memory. This season has been a complete waste and should be tossed in the trash along with every Afro Man and Wyclef Jean CD that you or any immediate relative may own. That's how we're all feeling right? By the way, what persuaded you to buy that Afro Man album?
Oh, and one other question ladies and gentleman.................exactly what were you expecting?
The Bobcats are one of the most odd collection of players in recent NBA history as far as being built the way traditional franchises have in the past. Everyone on the team seems to have some kind of flaw that every other team can somehow avoid. I mean, really, think about it. Look at our roster. It's so far from the traditional collection of player types that usually get the job done to win a title that it's, as Kanye West would say, Cray. We have two point guards under 6 feet tall who are horrible on defense and had to wait until they were drafted to learn how to think like a point guard and not take the first shot smoking. We have put our trust into a SG who has traditionally been just as good as PFs in the NBA at hitting 3 pointers and stretching the floor (and I'm not talking about Dirk Nowitzki). Our future at the small forward position is pretty non existant and all we have there in the meantime is a minimum wage one in a million player and another who makes you wonder if he'll ever get half of the mojo back that once made him a halfway decent player in the league. We have a glut of PFs on the roster who can compliment each other well but none which are the total package. And our center rotation consists of an overweight player who would be a bench warmer on most teams even when healthy and in shape and an Oklahoma City castoff who is just now getting any playing time in the NBA. It kinda makes you wonder why these guys aren't competing for an NBA championship this year doesn't it? (Feel free to post a sarchasm picture Aisander)
Will you stick around?
Rules of Rebuilding
The plan from the start has always been the same. Like Nas said, the bridge is over, the bridge is over, now, this is the time to destroy and rebuild. Speaking of Nas, that's a messy situation going on with the kidnapped promoter and the ransom Anywho, the plan for the Cats hasn't changed one bit. That magnificent plan consists of...........DRUMROLL PLEASE.......
1. Eliminating all contracts deemed unreasonable when measured against production. I'm looking at you Eddy, Bo-Jo, CM Punk, Matty Ice, and Diop.
2. Collecting assets in the form of young players on rookie scale contracts or minimum level deals and draft picks. D.J. White and B.J. Mullens immediately come to mind.
3. Giving said young talents the time to develop and learn on the fly. Kemba, Augustin (if not traded), Tyrus, Hendo, and Bismack are all gaining extremely valuable playing/developmental time this year.
4. Position your team to get a high draft pick. We're 2-9, I think we're headed in the right direction.
I haven't always been the brightest bulb on the scoreboard, but I haven't seen anything the team has done recently to go against that game plan. I also don't know if you guys agree about those being the rules to rebuilding, but I welcome anyone to dispute them. (Bring it on Procton!) Either way it goes, we are still in a great position to add to this team through the draft and free agency, though that Tyrus Thomas trade becomes more regretful by the day. And somebody get that boy a damn cheeseburger!
Hey folks, I get it. We suck. And it sucks to see your team lose. But for most of the fans dwelling in this Rufus On Fire community, this is exactly what we signed up for and this is what we will have to endure for the betterment of our franchise. If you can't handle it, I suggest you walk out now because we're not even done tearing this mutha umm umm down yet. I'm not exactly sure when we all started expecting this team to win a lot (maybe after the Heat game?), but it's just not going to happen any time soon. Rule #4 is taking place right in front of our eyes. There has been a great debate on the site about this the past few weeks but I'll tell it to you like it is...............giving your young players time to develop = Constructive Tanking. And I hear a lot of complaints about this generally but I'm not sure what there is to complain about. Do we want all of our young players getting the majority of the minutes? I'm sure we do. I don't see why not. Will these players get better? Absolutely. Not everyone will make great improvements, but young players do get better over time believe it or not. Will the team struggle more because it's the young guys getting significant minutes opposed to the veterans? No doubts about it. Does this help us with the draft? I'm as positive as Magic Johnson that it does. Again, I'm not so sure where the whole tank talk came from anyway, but these players aren't going out there and laying down. They are trying. I know at times it's hard to tell, but what was expected?
This is not an overnight fix. Matters are further complicated when you realize we haven't even slept through the first night yet. Golden Rule #1 hasn't even been fulfilled yet. DeSagana Diop, Matt Carroll, Boris Diaw, Corey Maggette, and Eduardo Najera still occupy roster spots on our team. Until they are gone or on at the least more reasonable salaries (don't worry southtunnel, Boris is back to being garbage), then we are still in the process of tearing the house down. We've lost some good games against New York, Miami, and Atlanta that could have gone either way and had us with a 5-6 record at this point. With a healthy Reggie Williams to stretch the floor more, I'm going out on a limb to say we would have been in a better position to win those close games that we did lose. For me though, what's important is that we are always competitive, which has been true for the most part. I said FOR THE MOST PART so don't go crazy people.
Will Hendo and Brown be a part of our long term future? Who knows?
Regardless though, in a season like this, it's important not to judge the overall product by what the team is doing, but by what the individual players are doing. This is an evaluation for each and every person on our roster and on a player by player basis, I haven't been very disappointed. It's a known fact that this collection of players will never be good enough to compete for a championship (sorry for that Procton impression, but it's true) so we the first thing we all need to do is realize this is not a finished product. Absolutely no one on the team is safe and should be automatic selections for what we do call the finished product (basically what we look like 3 years from now). And that even includes the rookies Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker. It also includes the streaky Henderson, the 132 pound Tyrus Thomas, or the player who will always be remembered by some fans for being selected over Brook Lopez, D.J. Augustin. I'm not saying trade any of these guys away just yet, I know that none of them are as good as they can be right now because they are young. But somewhere along the way, some of these guys are going to have to go and be replaced by new ones if we hope to seriously contend for a title. This team will just never be good enough to beat the Miami Heat in a 7 game series. But that doesn't matter. What does matter is that these guys are going out and improving, increasing their trade value so that they can either be annointed long term rotation players here or so the next time a Deron Williams or a Chris Paul hits the market, we'll have a halfway decent offer to make.
Presti's Genius Benefitting Bobcats
Two of the most impressive Bobcats thus far this year have been former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates D.J. White and Byron Mullens. Mullens, who arrived in a trade for a second round pick early in the season, has averaged a very respectable 12 and 5 in Charlotte while boasting a PER of 21.0, making him our most efficient player already and placing him among the best centers in the NBA. White is at 10 and 6 and has a 15+ per as well. If there are two players that I can absolutely say have a long term future in Charlotte, it's these two guys. And that's absolutely remarkable considering both players couldn't even crack the rotation in Oklahoma City. The fact that Rich Cho was around such a gifted general manager gives me even more faith in him and his moves. Sam Presti knows how to pick them.
Now you know I wasn't going to get through this thread without adding just a little rosterbation right? But this is some new rosterbation. It's rosterbation measured against a general manager who has a consistent plan. What good is that? It can eliminate fantasy deals that put us in a position to acquire the Gilbert Arenas' and David Lee 's (no shots fired) of the world that we were once so used to. Now, we know what kind of players we will get and what we are looking for, and here is a list of guys that I think we could eventually look into.
Omer Asik, Taj Gibson, Luke Harangody, Samardo Samuels, Omri Casspi, Dominique Jones, Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee, Lance Stephenson, Eric Bledsoe, Larry Sanders, Wayne Ellington, Lazar Hayward, Damion James, Landry Fields, Cole Aldrich, Daniel Orton, Earl Clark, Craig Brackins, Robin Lopez, Luke Babbitt, Elliot Williams, Donte Green, Travis Outlaw, James Anderson, James Johnson, Trevor Booker, Jordan Crawford
I know it's not the most impressive list of players, but I'm sure it's one Focus would be proud of and I'm positive Rich Cho has looked into a few of these player's availability. As a matter of fact, everyone on the site will owe me a dollar if one of the players end up being on the team by the end of the year. Bet? Bet. Until the next time, here is a childhood favorite of mine that I always use for situations like this.