The Charlotte Bobcats, or Hornets, or Jordanaires or whatever you wish to call them, have to be the most difficult team to root for in all of professional sports. The team has always had talented pieces but usually are on the outside looking in whenever the playoffs roll around. The NBA was all abuzz when Charlotte made it to the playoffs waaaay back in 2009-10. The franchise had been on the fringe of a playoff run twice before that but usually folded their tents right after the All-Star break. The Bobcats haven’t been close since then. They actually had the audacity to only win seven games during the lockout season. Truth be told, every season ticket holder should have gotten half their money back for that travesty. If ever there were a class action lawsuit against year after year of poor performance Charlotte would be an ideal franchise to file suit against.
As in years past, most of the hype surrounding the Bobcats this offseason had more to do with its owner, Mr. Michael Jordan, than the actual team itself. But Charlotte hasn’t exactly been sitting on their hands during free agency. They landed highly underrated big man F-C Al Jefferson, as well as drafted another big capable of scoring in PF Cody Zeller — who they reportedly intend to utilize as a stretch four. One of the knocks on Big Al is his inability to block shots, but C Bismark Biyombo blocked almost two per game last season and is only going to be better this season. Veteran C Brendan Haywood is known to block a few shots as well. Couple that with the ever improving tandem of PG Kemba Walker and SG Gerald Henderson and you have two attacking guards who can score against most teams every night. They also have a small forward who has only scratched the surface of his potential in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
But, aside from combo guards Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions supplying scoring and basketball IQ off the bench, the cupboard is bare from the eighth man on down. Everybody else will have even the most learned Bobcats fan thinking “who?” Last year’s edition only won 21 games all season, and this version may have a more talented starting five but aren’t nearly as balanced from top to bottom. Some of the guys that may hit the floor this season would never get any shine anywhere else. Bobcats appear to be headed for the lottery once again, but I’ll say adding Al Jefferson gets them 12 more wins this season. I predict they will go 33-49 and will return to the lottery yet again.
Ricardo A. Hazell is a freelance sports writer based in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google Plus.