5 Areas in Which Charlotte Bobcats Must Improve for Next Season
Five Areas Where Charlotte Bobcats Must Improve Next Season
The Charlotte Bobcats were one of the worst teams in the NBA once again last season. In fact, they would have been the absolute worst team in the league for the second consecutive season had they not played some struggling teams at the end of the season that they were able to notch victories over.
There were a few bright spots for the Bobcats in the 2012-2013 NBA regular season, though there were much more negative things to notice. Kemba Walker showed great improvement from his rookie season to his sophomore season and began to emerge as a leader for the young team. Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also showed promise as a defender and rebounder and has solid developable skills at the pro level.
However, the things that the Bobcats did wrong were far more numerous and glaring than anything that they did right. From overpaid wing players like Ben Gordon, overpaid big men like Tyrus Thomas, to young players not showing much promise at all like Bismack Biyombo, this is a team that is absolutely full of problems.
Not everything can fully be boiled down to a lack of talent, though, even if that was a large part of their struggles last season. Part of it also had to do with the fact that last year’s head coach Mike Dunlap never really made adjustments as the season went on and opponents were pretty easily able to decipher how to stop Charlotte.
With Steve Clifford now at the helm for the Bobcats, they have nowhere to go but up. For that to happen, though, they obviously need to get better in a lot of facets of the game. Here are five areas of their overall game where they need to get better under Clifford.
The Bobcats didn’t put up awful numbers in terms of just rebound totals in the 2012-2013 season, but it was more the advanced metrics of their rebounding that were really concerning.
In terms of rebound percentage, the Bobcats grabbed just 47.8 percent of rebounding opportunities this season, the second worst percentage in the league. Though they actually grabbed a high percentage of offensive rebounds, largely because they missed a lot of easy shots, they allowed the second highest percentage of offensive rebounds last season.
The most troubling part of the Bobcats rebounding troubles is the fact that it wasn’t a lack of size that caused their issues, but rather just bad positioning and losing 50-50 balls. That comes down to being more aware when shots go up and giving more effort on the glass. That needs to happen more next season with Charlotte.
Avoiding Being Blocked
Charlotte has one of the worst frontcourts in the NBA, which isn’t really that big of a secret. One of the things that’s noticeable about their frontcourt is their lack of offensive skill and discernible post moves. This is a huge reason that the Bobcats averaged the most blocked shots against in the NBA this season, getting denied 6.9 times per game.
With Patrick Ewing coming in as a new assistant coach for the Bobcats, he needs to put in more work with Charlotte’s big men in terms of teaching them how to get their shot off better. It’s hard to put up a fight offensively if every shot is getting denied. Obviously, that needs to change moving forward.
Defending Three-Point Shooting
The Bobcats had real issues in terms of keeping their opponents from scoring last season, allowing the second most points per game at 102.7. Though a lot of that is caused by their rebounding issues, a large part of it can also be attributed to their inability to stop their opponents from hitting outside shots.
Charlotte allowed the most made three-point field goals per game in the NBA last season and allowed their opponents to shoot the highest percentage from long range in the NBA at 38.8 percent.
A lot of the Bobcats issues, once again, came because of poor positioning and awareness on defense. They also showed a real lack of effort and ability to close out on open shooter. Clifford is going to have to instill a better defensive sense in his players next season.
One of the underrated things that the Bobcats did well this past season was hold onto the ball. They were actually one of the top-10 teams in the league in terms of turnovers per game. The problem is that they didn’t force their opponents to commit many turnovers either.
The Bobcats forced just 14 turnovers per game last season, just the 20th most in the NBA for the year. The problem with that, especially for the offensively deficient Bobcats, is that they were unable to get out in transition for easy buckets or create extra possessions that would give them opportunities to put more points on the board. By instituting a defense that will force more turnovers, it will help them stop their opponents, but will also help their defense as well.
Charlotte had the fourth worst offense in the NBA in terms of points per game as they averaged only 93.4. However, they by far had the worst net rating per game in terms of points at -9.2. That’s largely because their lack of scoring was more tied to their inefficiency scoring the ball than it was due to pace.
The Bobcats had the least efficient offense in the league last season, converting on just 42.5 percent of their shot attempts. They also shot just 33.5 percent from three-point range, the fourth worst in the NBA.
The Bobcats’ inefficiency on offense was caused by a combination of poor offensive players, poor offensive scheme and poor shot selection. All of these things can either be worked on or fixed this offseason. If the Bobcats want to have any hope of being better next season, they need to make sure those things happen.