The new coach for the Charlotte Bobcats will have several challenges.
One of his biggest challenges will be getting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to show substantial improvement for what was basically a mediocre rookie season.
The knock on Mike Dunlap was that while he was a good teacher, he was unable to motivate his players to perform well on the court. That was the case with Gilchrist, who is only 19 years old and will be 20 prior to the start of the 2013-14 season.
It’s one thing for Kidd-Gilchrist to know what he needs to do with his enormous basketball talent on the the court against established NBA teams. It’s another thing to motivate him to do everything he can to unleash that talent and have it appear on the scoreboard.
Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in his first NBA season. Those aren’t bad numbers, but as the No. 2 pick in the draft, Kidd-Gilchrist was expected to do more. The Bobcats were struggling so he did not have as good of a supporting cast as a rookie like Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. He shot 45.8 percent from the floor and 74.9 from the free-throw line, a pair of numbers that are okay but need to improve. He also needs to improve his 3-point range shooting which is 22.2 percent.
Kidd-Gilchrist has shown signs of life occasionally. In late March, he was 9-of-11 in shooting and scored 21 points while taking down nine rebounds against the Philadelphia 76ers. He also had 18 points and 14 rebounds in early April against the Miami Heat