Record/Overview: 9-22, 5th place Southeast Division, 15th Seed Eastern Conference
Perhaps the largest contributing factor to the teams lack of success stems from the age and experience of the players. The top seven players in the teams rotation are all long on talent and short on NBA playing time, save for the well-traveled Brevin Knight
. In terms of turnover and foul differential, Charlotte ranks 15th and 30th respectively. When coupled with the teams lack of offensive output, the turnover figures become more egregious as the team doesnt generate as many possessions as some other teams which makes their 15 per game tougher to compensate for. The fouling is typical for a young team that hasnt gained the respect from the officials that comes with success and time, but late in games the team is sending opponents to the line for free points, which exacerbates their own scoring woes.
The youth of this team has shined through most clearly in their inability to execute effectively in the fourth quarter of games. Primoz Brezec
Brezec has had a tough season as hes been slow to recover from his early season injury and it has effected his shot and his movement on the court to some extent. Brezecs time has been cut into this year as hes playing only half the minutes hes averaged over the past two seasons. Sean May
s stellar play has helped to contribute to the decline in minutes, but a three Big rotation still would see Brezec averaging more minutes if his body and game would allow it. Brezec isnt much of a shot-blocker and his limited mobility is causing his minutes to drop off. May provides the face-up jump shot that helps to free Okafor on the blocks, and May is more mobile and a much better board-man, so Primoz days as a starter may be fading. Emeka Okafor
Okafor has responded tremendously to an off season dedicated toward rehabilitating his injuries and regaining the agility and movement he lost by adding extra muscle last season. Okafor had lost the ability to consistently know down the 12-15 foot jumper that made him such an effective offensive player his rookie year. The extra quickness is also allowing Okafor to react quicker on the boards and with blocked shots. While his rebounding numbers arent appreciably greater this season to last, his rebounding range has increased as has his ability to finish put-backs. Gerald Wallace
Up until this past week, health had not been a concern for the oft-injured Wallace. However, either because of self-restraint or due to the number of other offensive options on the team, Wallace hasnt been as productive as he was last season. Wallaces numbers are down across the board and while his scoring could be explained away by the shot distribution on the team, his hustle stats are more of a mystery. It seems that Wallace hasnt played with the same intensity as last season, though hes still very productive. But, while Wallace has had some of his biggest games this season his rebounding, steals, blocks and blocks have been below expectation. Wallace is spending more time on his jump shot this season in an attempt to improve the one area of weakness in his game and perhaps that has caused him to hover more on the perimeter rather than diving into the fray. Raymond Felton
Felton has had a relatively productive season to date. His shooting percentage is still well below acceptable as he shoots below 40 percent from the field and a rather pedestrian 36 percent from three-point range. Feltons assist to turnover ratio has been consistent each and every game this year though and his ability to attack the basket really forces defenders to pay attention to him when hes got the ball, which helps his teammates find open shots. Set shots are by far his best face-up weapon after his drive, but adding a floater and a reliable pull-up shot to his arsenal will make him much more difficult to defend as right now he has virtually no in-between game. Sean MaySean May
is having a very solid sophomore campaign. His rebounding has been inconsistent, but hes had a few dominant performances that were reminiscent of his time at North Carolina. Mays scoring is really starting to come along. Hes able to set up drives to the hoop very well with his 18 foot face-up shooting and his hands and footwork are superior when in the post. The twisted ankle really set May back, as he was beginning to get a groove. But, May is in better shape this year than last and should provide an excellent complement to Okafor in the frontcourt as his game develops and his production stabilizes. Adam Morrison
Morrison has begun to stabilize his early season swings in productivity. Morrison looks like he is getting past his home-shooting slump and starting to produce in other statistical categories as well. More than anything, Morrison is beginning to establish some type of rhythm or game plan to his on-court attack. Early in the season it seemed like Morrison didnt have any idea of what he wanted to do or when. He was taking shots from wherever they presented themselves regardless of situation or circumstance. Now, Morrison is starting to strategically game plan his plays and is figuring out how to set-up teammates better and to take advantage of opponents. The more he applies his game situationally the more productive and consistent hell become.Matt CarrollMatt Carroll
has been a big beneficiary of the teams lack of depth and recent injury bug. Carroll has been working relentlessly to establish a foothold in the league and has built off of a successful off season to create a niche for himself. Carroll has really improved his handle and his ability to pull-up off of his drive is making him a more complete offensive player. Carroll is a great set shooter, but his other limitations had kept him on the NBA periphery until this season. Now that Carroll is playing a more complete floor game he is starting to build himself into a top- 8 rotation player. Outlook:
The Bobcats are looking pretty good going into this off season. While their record hasnt improved appreciably over the past 3 seasons, the team has acquired top level talent from successful college programs and that has to pay dividends eventually. Adding one more upper echelon talent in this years draft should really solidify the core of this young team going forward and this season the team will have a full salary cap to work with. With Michael Jordan
on board to help with PR, it shouldnt be unreasonable for the Bobcats to acquire some decent complementary veterans to add balance and stability to the youthful talent already on the team.
The proposed move for Allen Iverson
would have been a mistake as the team isnt desperate for a big time player, just for a group of veterans who have playoff experience or have played in a winning environment professionally. With a highly talented draft pick and one or two key free agents this Bobcats team could easily move into playoff contention.