Mike Dunlap will probably return to the Charlotte Bobcats for a second season. That makes a lot of sense right now.
It’s not that Dunlap’s 21-61 record is one Bobcat basketball fans will cherish for a long time. Perhaps they could have gone closer to the 30-win mark with a few breaks here and there. But Dunlap’s main goal was to get the younger players a solid year of learning and then turn them loose in 2013-14.
Dunlap was obviously brought in to be a teacher. Considering the Bobcats had a strong late-season run, it would appear he didn’t do that bad of a job.
Those Bobcats will probably allow him to continue his teaching methods next season with the hope they’ll show progress and get to the 30-win mark, which would indicate that they’re making progress.
Despite his lengthy tenure as an assistant in 32 years of coaching, Dunlap has had some head coaching experience which should be a mandate for anyone becoming top boss in the NBA. Too many coaches that haven’t had that type of experience fizzle when they get to the NBA, regardless of how much success they’ve had an assistant.
Despite the record, the Bobcats have several talented players with Gerald Henderson, Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker leading the way. Dunlap was able to get other players to emerge in decent roles including Bismack Biyombo and Josh McRoberts as solid rebounders.
His biggest project remains Michael Kidd-Chilchrist, who was a disappointment of sorts considering he was a high draft choice. Dunlap needs to gently guide Gilchrist, who is only 19 years old, through the learning process so his 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds averages are much higher next year. His 26 minutes per game average needs to get into the 30s.