The Charlotte Bobcats kicked off their 2013-14 NBA season on Wednesday night with a matchup against the Houston Rockets. Based on the projections for both teams this season, the game should have been awash in favor of Houston, but on the opening night of the season for both teams, the Bobcats certainly made a game out of it.
The final result ended up with the score in favor of the Rockets by a count of 96-83. However, the Bobcats were in the game for almost the entire four quarters. As a whole, their defense looked much improved from last season, though their offense struggled to get going consistently against Houston.
One of the takeaways from the season-opener for the Bobcats, though, was how rookie and fourth-overall pick from this year’s draft, Cody Zeller, struggled in his first taste of regular season play in the Association.
Zeller came off of the bench at the power forward behind Josh McRoberts in Charlotte’s rotation and played 16 minutes in his first NBA game. He finished the night with only two points, four rebounds, one block and one turnover while shooting a poor 1-6 from the field.
The expected from Zeller was that he struggled defensively and had the normal growing pains in terms of young players adjusting to the NBA style of play, but the surprising issue was how ineffective Zeller was on the offensive end. After coming out of college with a relatively polished offensive game, there was no semblance of that on Wednesday. He seemed overwhelmed by NBA defenders and couldn’t get his shot to fall.
Obviously it’s the first game of the season, which means that you can’t read too much into too much that happens. However, this certainly has to concern the Bobcats at least a little. Charlotte desperately needs a young player like Zeller to live up to his potential and Wednesday was not a good start in that direction. Ultimately, though, Zeller and much of the rest of the NBA is still on “wait-and-see” terms.