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NBA Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Bobcats: These 5 Players Need To Step Up To Improve The Team

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These 5 Players Need To Step Up To Improve The Bobcats

These 5 Players Need To Step Up To Improve The Bobcats
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Bobcats once again had a terrible season last year, finishing 40 games below .500 with a 21-61 record. Kemba Walker had a breakout season for the Bobcats, averaging 17.7 points per game while dishing out 5.7 assists per game. Unfortunately for Kemba, there really wasn’t much to brag about in Charlotte outside of him.

The Bobcats were a very guard-heavy team with the likes of Walker, Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions and Gerald Henderson all sharing playing time in the backcourt. All four of those guards were in the top five scorers for this Bobcat team. This offseason, they attempted to improve their interior play by signing free agent Al Jefferson. Jefferson has been a very productive big man throughout his career and is a clear cut above the likes of Bismack Biyombo and Byron Mullens, with the latter of the two no longer playing for the Bobcats. They also used their first-round draft pick on forward Cody Zeller out of the University of Indiana. He will be expected to come in and start alongside Jefferson, and the two should form a nice big man duo and will be a huge upgrade over anyone who the Bobcats attempted to plug into the paint last year.

Once again this year, the Bobcats come into the season with very low expectations, but that shouldn’t stop them from trying to improve as much as they can. Every player on the team should attempt to get better, but if these five players can step up, the Bobcats should be able to manage a better record then they had last year.

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5. Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Gordon went to Charlotte last year in hopes of being that scoring threat off the bench, and it really didn't pay off. Gordon set a career-low in minutes played, rebounds, assists and tied a career low in points per game. If Gordon can pick his game up a bit and get back into the groove of that player that used to come off of the Chicago Bulls' bench, it would go a long way in helping solidify the Bobcats' bench and make the team that much better.

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4. Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Bobcats drafted Cody Zeller in this year's draft. Zeller was a prominent college athlete, but he's coming to a team that needs all the help they can get. He doesn't have to come in and be the best big man on the team, but he does need to come in ready to play and perform at a high level. If he can be a good counterpart to Al Jefferson, then he's doing just what he needs to do to help improve this Bobcats team.

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3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a rather decent rookie campaign for the Bobcats. He helped their defense quite a bit, but was sometimes a liability on the offensive end. He already has strong defensive abilities and if he can improve his offense production, he will help improve the Bobcats.

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2. Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Al Jefferson comes to Charlotte from Utah and will immediately be the man in the middle of the Bobcats. Just the acquisition of Al helps improve the Bobcats from last year, but Jefferson needs to do his part too. He needs to come in and do exactly what he did in Utah, if not a little bit more, and the Bobcats will be a better team because of it.

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1. Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Bobcats will go as Kemba Walker goes, plain and simple. Kemba improved his game mightily from his rookie season, but he's going to need to continue improving if the Bobcats want to have any hope of ever making the playoffs with this core. Kemba needs to up his scoring to 20-plus points per game, and he needs to up his assists per game, but that should be easier now with Al Jefferson. If Kemba can do that, then the Bobcats will be a better team.