What Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s Injury Means for the Charlotte Bobcats

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There’s bad news for the Charlotte Bobcats as we have now learned the results of former No. 2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in his most recent injury. Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a fractured left hand in the Cats’ 89-82 loss against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. His status is currently labelled as “out indefinitely,” and we currently don’t have a timetable as to how long he will be out. It is being rumored (note that I said rumored not confirmed) that the injury could take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to recover from.

Now it’s time to talk about what this means for Charlotte, but man, what is with the NBA and broken/fractured hands this week? This is the fourth hand injury in one week as we’ve seen other stars like J.J. Reddick, Paul Pierce, and Anthony Davis all go down with the same injury!

MKG left the game Tuesday in the second half as he was later announced as not returning during the game. Many people were left wondering as not many knew what had happened to the former Kentucky Wildcat. Kidd-Gilchrist later told the media: “I looked down at my finger and it was (pointing) the wrong way”. The odd part is he went on to say he had no clue how it happened.

So what does this mean for the Bobcats? How will this affect their lineup and style of play? Will the Cats stay the same or will they progressively get worse? How bad will they miss MKG’s presence? Here are two key things you will notice in the wake of his upsetting injury.

1. A new man steps into the starting role: Jeffery Taylor

Well somebody’s got to fill his spot! You really can’t go wrong with picking former second round pick Jeff Taylor as MKG’s replacement for the next 4-6 weeks. Taylor is a solid scorer at most times, but the shooting guard also lacks on the rebounding end. Taylor (who as we said is a shooting guard) will be stepping in at the small forward position and there is no time for underachieving. The Cats will need a lot out of Taylor as with the loss of MKG they are also losing a prime defender.

At 6-foot-7 he is not necessarily tall for a guard but rather a more fitting at the SF position. Taylor (through 19 games) is averaging 7.9 points a game, 2.2 rebounds a game, 0.7 assists a game, and shooting a rather poor 38 percent. If Taylor wants to be effective in the starting role he needs to prove he can contribute consistently defensively (which we have seen him do), on the rebounding end, and shooting at a better percentage.

2. The Bobcats lose one of their best defenders

Kidd-Gilchrist has truly been the spark in the Bobcats’ solid defense to start the season, and they will truly miss his defensive presence while he is sitting in a suit. Head coach Steve Clifford recently said that it was a “big hit” losing the second-year man’s precious defense for the near future. Clifford later went on to say that “If you watched him from the summer to now, there’s been a lot of progress since Vegas (summer league). He can be an elite defender in this league. He’s very bright”. Coming from the coach you can tell that it will be a big loss to Charlotte’s defensive game.

MKG has played a huge role in making the Cats one of the best defensive teams so far this season. After Tuesday’s loss to the Mavs it was the 11th consecutive time the Cats held a team to under 100 points, and you want to know who was one of the prime reasons for that streak? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Hopefully he returns as healthy as can be so he can help this team make a possible surprise trip to the playoffs. Am I getting too over my head? Nope.

Daniel Carney covers the Charlotte Bobcats for rantsports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_jcarney, subscribe to him on YouTube where he talks sports, and add him on Google+.

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