As the Charlotte Bobcats weathered through the 2013 NBA preseason, I was one of what I’m sure was quite a few people that remained skeptical about Bobcats forward/center Bismack Biyombo. Sure, the third-year player was putting up 20-rebound games in the preseason action, but his first two seasons of general ineptitude kept me not believing in anything for the future.
However, as the 2013-14 regular season has gotten underway over the past week, Biyombo has continued to show signs of improvement and, surprisingly enough, has been one of the 1-2 Bobcats’ most consistent performers.
Through three games, two of which Biyombo started, the big man is averaging five points, seven rebounds and one block per game while hitting on 70 percent of his field goal opportunities. That’s obviously not a line that is going to earn Biyombo an All-Star bid or anything, but his play has certainly reflected a ton of improvement overall.
One of the biggest issues with Biyombo over his first two seasons in the league has been his lack of awareness and ability on the offensive end of the floor. Though I’d venture to say that his ability has only improved a minor amount coming into this season, it’s apparent that he’s become a much savvier offensive player. Biyombo isn’t forcing the issue or his shots on the offensive end of the floor and is letting the game come to him, to use a cliché.
Moreover, Biyombo has been much better on the defensive end and on the glass. He may have averaged 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per contest over his career, but those don’t take into account his poor decision-making on defense and his poor positioning on the glass. Though he’s still not elite in those areas, he’s making strides towards being better.
One of the reasons that Charlotte has remained steadfast over the past few years with giving Biyombo minutes is the fact that he’s always had the upside. This, after all, is a 21-year-old with elite athleticism. Though it’s early and it could just be a mirage, that steadfastness might finally be starting to pay dividends for the Bobcats.