The Charlotte Bobcats suffered a pretty big blow to their team and their growth this season when second-overall pick from the 2012 NBA Draft, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, went down with a broken hand a little more than a week ago. However, the Bobcats were hoping that Jeffery Taylor could slip into that starting role and make the blow felt a little less.
Taylor was one of the more hyped players in Charlotte coming into this season. After dominating at the Las Vegas Summer League and being the lone gun for the Swedish National Team at Eurobasket 2013, fans and analysts alike were left raving about the skills of the second-year wing and his potential to really break out as a super role player for the Bobcats this season.
In his first game as MKG’s replacement, Taylor looked every bit like he was about to prove his value to this Bobcats team. In 37 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers, Taylor put up 20 points, eight rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal while shooting a solid 8-16 from the field, though he went just 2-7 from long-distance.
In the four games since that win over Philadelphia, though, Taylor has been less-than-stellar. He notched a DNP this past Monday with a heel bruise. In the other three contests, Taylor has averaged just eight points, two rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game on 10-33 shooting from the field and 1-8 shooting from three, all while getting more than 28 minutes per game in all three contests.
Taylor undoubtedly has the skills and potential to be a solid three-and-D player in this league, but he seems to be pressing right now. His shot hasn’t been falling, even with open looks, this season. Due to his youth, he’s tried to compensate for his shooting slump by pressing the issue and forcing things.
Taylor’s struggles right now are certainly disappointing, but they also aren’t something to dwell on or worry about for the long-term. He’s simply experiencing some growing pains and over-correcting like young players tend to do. Things will balance out eventually. There’s a reason people were raving about him this summer and, if I had to guess, he’ll show those reasons soon enough.