The Charlotte Bobcats lost 59 games out of a total of 66 games played last season. As bad as Charlotte’s current 13-game losing streak may seem right now, it’s still not as atrocious as the .106 winning-percentage that they posted last year.
One of the primary issues with last year’s Bobcats team was coaching. Paul Silas had little-to-no control over his team and their performance reflected that. Charlotte simply ran around playing iso-ball, which isn’t going to win games in the NBA.
When the Bobcats hired Mike Dunlap this offseason, they brought a guy to coach their team who would be able to rein in this team and give them operating more methodically.
Though Charlotte has, in fact, looked more in-sync this season than last year, the Bobcats still need to get better coaching from Dunlap.
On Tuesday night in Charlotte’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Dunlap had the perfect game-plan to give the Bobcats to capture the win. Knowing the Lakers are an older team, he pushed the tempo of the game and let his speedy guards run past the slower Los Angeles team.
However, where Dunlap struggles is game-planning for every team. On Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns, Dunlap had Charlotte running the same up-tempo style of offense. The problem with that is that the Suns want to play that style of basketball as a young and quick basketball team.
Though both games ended up with the Bobcats losing, the outcome of their contest with the Suns was never questionable, while the Lakers game could have swung either way.
Dunlap has to be more aware of his opponents when he is drawing up a game-plan. He’s not going to be able to run-and-gun against every team. Charlotte is a fast team, but there are plenty of NBA teams that can keep up with and play that style better than them.
The Bobcats have to step up on the defensive end of the floor, have to take smarter shots and have to keep their composure. These things are all widely known issues that have to be addressed. However, Dunlap has to step up his coaching as well for this team to succeed.
To win in the NBA, a team has to have an identity, but they also have to be able to adapt to their opponent on any given night. That’s where Dunlap has to grow. He should be admired for trying to establish the Bobcats as an up-tempo type of team. But he should also receive some blame for not changing up that style when it’s not going to work or when an opponent plays that style better.
If Charlotte keeps playing at a fast pace, they will win some games. However, if they want to establish themselves as a quality team in this league, Dunlap is going to have to realize when that’s not going to work and make adjustments. If that happens, the Bobcats will definitely benefit from it.