The Charlotte Bobcats were one game away from making it to the championship. Sure, it was just the championship game at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League and not the NBA Finals, but that still has to count for something. On Sunday night, their game with the Golden State Warriors would determine who would play the Phoenix Suns on Monday for the Vegas Summer League title.
Though the Bobcats fought valiantly and were in contention for almost the entire 40-minute contest, they fell short against the Warriors, losing 75-67. Charlotte finished Summer League with a 4-2 record and, more importantly, with a lot of positives to work on in training camp and going into the regular season.
Charlotte may not have a chance at hoisting the trophy in Vegas, but they had already done the work that they really wanted to do at Summer League before Monday’s game. That’s why guys already on the roster like Cody Zeller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo and Jeffery Taylor all received DNPs on both Saturday and Sunday.
There were a lot of positives to take away from Vegas for Charlotte. Though there are still problems with MKG’s jump shot, there were signs in the three games he played in that he has been putting in work to improve it. It’s going to take some time for that to be fully corrected, but it’s in the works. Biyombo is still a work-in-progress as well, as depressing as that may be. He did show promise on the boards, though, and showed that he had worked on his stroke at the free-throw line, a real issue for him last season.
Zeller and Taylor were the brightest of spots for the Bobcats in Vegas, though. Taylor showed why he was getting minutes last season as a reserve. He has great range as a shooter and seems to always play within himself. He’s quite promising. The first look at the fourth overall pick Zeller was promising, too, as he showed that he has the offensive prowess and athleticism to succeed at this level. There’s still some areas where he could work on, but for his first time in an NBA environment, the results were definitely pleasing.
Even with the addition of Al Jefferson, making the postseason still feels like a stretch for Charlotte. However, it’s clear that they do have some young pieces on their roster that can make things happen and compose a solid roster in the coming years. In short, the Bobcats may not be in the basement of the league for much longer.