Considering that the Charlotte Bobcats won only 21 games in the 2012-2013 NBA season, it’s kind of hard to believe that they improved from the previous season, but that’s indeed what happened. In the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season, the Bobcats won only seven games and set the dubious NBA record for the worst season winning percentage in the history of the league.
Despite their winning percentage rising from .106 to .256, the Bobcats’ situation was pretty dire last season. On both ends of the floor they struggled to show consistency and ranked near the bottom of the league. Nothing exemplified Charlotte’s struggles last season more than the fact that forward Jeff Adrien became a consistent part of their rotation after being called up from the D-League.
Adrien played in 52 games for the Bobcats last year, including five starts, and averaged four points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 13.7 minutes per game while shooting a paltry 42.9 percent from the floor. In 14 January games Adrien actually saw the floor for 17.4 minutes per game. However, his role began to dissipate as the year progressed, averaging just 11.6 minutes per game in April.
At just 6’7”, Adrien was playing as an undersized power forward last season and really struggled to be effective on both ends of the floor. In fact, he looked like he had no real business seeing the floor consistently for an NBA team.
Luckily for the Bobcats, they shouldn’t really need Adrien to play many minutes this season. Charlotte spent much of this off-season addressing their frontcourt as they signed Al Jefferson, re-signed Josh McRoberts and drafted Cody Zeller. Those three players and Bismack Biyombo should all come ahead of Adrien in the rotation.
It’s clear that the Bobcats are headed in a positive direction, even if they aren’t likely to make the postseason this year. They have added some solid pieces and seem to have a vision for where this team is going. Adrien’s role in the rotation fading away is a sign of that growth.