The Charlotte Bobcats finished the 2012-13 NBA season with the second-worst record in the entire league, winning just 21 games and losing 61. However, one of the things that’s often overlooked about the Bobcats campaign last year is the fact that this team started out the season with a solid 7-5 record before the wheels fell completely off.
Through the first nine games of the Bobcats 2013-14 season, the results are looking eerily similar to last season. After a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, the Bobcats now sit with a 5-4 record and, if the season were to end today, Charlotte would be in the postseason for the first time in a while and to the surprise of many.
The challenged that the Bobcats now face going forward, though, is whether or not they can avoid replicating what occurred last season when everything fell apart for this team in the last 70 games of the season.
One of the reasons that the Bobcats fell apart last season was the fact that their team and style became predictable under former head coach Mike Dunlap. As the season went on, Dunlap relentlessly ran his style of play with little-to-no adjustments, which is a good way to lose 61 games in a season. With a veteran assistant coach now the head coach in Charlotte with Steve Clifford, that seems less likely to be a problem this season.
More than that, this Bobcats team is much more talented than they were last season. Kemba Walker has another year of development, Al Jefferson is now with the team, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is playing smarter offensively by attacking the rim, and even Bismack Biyombo is showing positive signs early on.
Do I believe that the Bobcats are bound for the postseason? Not really; but I do think that this team is set for much more success than they had last season. They may not get above .500 for the year, but I wouldn’t expect the drop-off that we saw last year from this year’s squad.