The Bobcats of next year will possibly be the deepest roster we've ever had in our history. Each position boasts at least two players who fans have somewhat of a hope for. The upcoming season will let us know that if we're going to be a winning team, at least one of these positions will need an upgrade. My question is simply this, which position is the weakest?
Walker will enter the season again as the starting point guard after surging to averages of 17.7 PPG and 5.7 APG in his second season in the NBA. He was also 5th in the NBA averaging 1.95 steals a game. On the downside of things, he is often accused of having tunnel vision and gets beat into the lane often on the defensive end. He may have the most All-Star potential on the roster considering his flashy play and charisma though. His backup again will be Sessions, who averaged 14.4 PPG and 3.8 APG last year, but also missed 21 games due to injury. He has a knack for getting to the line as he is often fouled on his way to the rim, but also is a player accused of having tunnel vision and is average at best on the defensive end. He also may not finish out the season in Charlotte as his $5 million expiring contract could be moved at the deadline.
Strengths: Scoring Weaknesses: Defense, Facilitating
Under the assumption that Hendo is retained, we will more than likely keep the same two guard rotation from last year at least up until the deadline. Last year, Henderson chipped in 15.5 PPG along with 3.7 RPG while also playing above average defense on the wings for the most part. He even averaged close to 20 PPG after the All-Star break and raised his three point shooting percentage to .33% over the year. His previous high was .24%. There are still questions about whether his scoring tear during the latter half of the year was a fluke and if he'll ever develop his three point shot enough for defenses to really respect it. His backup will be Mr. Humble Yourself, Ben Gordon, who chipped in 11.2 PPG last year. He's extremely dangerous as a marksman from behind the arc, shooting a blistering 39% from three, but also is a turnover machine with poor handles, something you can't afford from your guards in the NBA. It'd also be extremely kind to call him a below average defender. He'll more than likely be gone by the deadline as well, as he carries an extremely valuable $13 million deal. Theoretically, the combination should be great as their strengths and weaknesses offset each other, but as evidenced by last year, it doesn't always work out like that.
Strengths: Defense, Efficiency Weaknesses: Rebounding, Scoring
Small Forward (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeffery Taylor)
What? Taylor should be starting over MKG? That's what I've been hearing from a few after Taylor torched through the Summer League, averaging 20 PPG. He played with the aggressiveness that I often noted throughout the last season that he lacked on his way to 6.1 PPG. He also put on a show with his three point shooting, which looks even better improved than the .34% he shot from last year. The rest of the league has taken notice of the 31st selection in the last year's draft and see him as a rising player in the league. It's still a far cry to suggest he will supplant last year's #2 pick MKG, in the starting lineup though. He averaged 9 PPG and 6 RPG last year while playing stellar defense, but has one of the most awful jump shots in league history. Either way, both are second year players that figure to be in the Bobcat's long term plans.
Strengths: Defense, Rebounding Weaknesses: Scoring
Don't you just love all of the love that Zeller is getting after so many analysts saying the Bobcats blew the pick by selecting him. I mean, of course, it's only Summer League, but Zeller played the game like a seasoned vet ready to step in and contribute immediately. Like I was saying before, you're not going to find many 7 footers with the mobility and high basketball IQ that the youngest of the Zeller Clan possesses. Those Lamarcus Aldridge comparisons don't seem so crazy now do they? But let's keep in mind, Zeller, like Aldridge isn't a particularly good defender and could probably be exposed. Neither is his back up, Josh McRoberts, who came in and provided a huge boost to the team in a deadline deal with Orlando last year. In the 19 games he started for us, he averaged 9.3 PPG, 7.2 RPB, and 2.7 APG while shooting 50% from the floor. He also brought a stability to the offense in half court sets as he was able to masquerade as a point forward for long stretches at a time.The pair figures to be one that contributes in all facets of the game, while more than likely not dominating in one particular area.
Strengths: High Basketball IQ Weaknesses: Defense
The Bobcats brought in their $41 million dollar man, Big Al, this off season who immediately becomes the franchises' most accomplished player in history. Over the duration of his career, he has averaged 16 and 9 playing in both front court spots, but has been exclusively at center for the last several years. He brings a ton of post skill and fits the "back to the basket" type player I've been craving to have on the team for years. Unfortunately, his defense has always been bad throughout his career. His backup, third year center Biyombo, should theoretically be a much better defender than he's been, but hasn't been. Whether that's because of a lack of stability in coaching or him just being a bad player remains to be seen. What we do know is that we won't get much offense out of him
anytime soon ever, but he does have potential to be a great shot blocker and a player who can collect boards.
Strengths: Rebounding Weaknesses: Defense
Last year, I legitimately believe that Mike Dunlap lost us some games with some of the things that he was doing, humbling players and what not. A new coaching staff could make things better, or make things worse. The question is, will they hold us back from winning, or will that just be the roster?
Strengths and Weaknesses: Unknown - To Be Determined
So what say you Rufus On Fire? Where is the Weak Link and what position will we be looking to upgrade the soonest?