Can Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Become a Franchise Player for the Charlotte Bobcats?
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist might want to look to Kevin Durant for tips on improvement.
At first glance, that's an odd connection to make. The hard-slashing MKG has a much different game than the sweet-shooting Thunder superstar. But I would link the two because Kevin Durant is one of the few NBA players to significantly improve his handle.
Like free-throwing shooting, dribbling is an oddly difficult skill to bolster. KD seemed to benefit from doing drills with LeBron James and playing dribble-centric Summer League ball during the lockout. I am not altogether sure what Kidd-Gilchrist must do to improve his shaky handle, but I do know that a perimeter franchise player likely needs dribbling facility.
Even without a smooth handle, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could slash and go coast to coast through a mix of speed, body control and sheer tenacity. "Tenacity" might be a subjective adjective, but MKG has it in bulk. Even if I quibble with his dribble, it's hard to watch this and not think he'll overcome most any deficiency:
But, even in a showcase video, I can detect some other obstacles to his eventual superstardom.
Namely, that shot of his is quite shaky. His shooting palm moves around and below the ball. He occasionally has a hitch as he pulls the shot back. For MKG to progress as a wing scorer, these flaws should be smoothed out.
The good news for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? He can do virtually anything and improve this Charlotte Bobcats team. The 2012 'Cats were the worst NBA team I have ever seen in my life. This is not hyperbole, I quite literally mean it.
Consider this: Not only was Charlotte the worst offensive team last season (via Hollinger, espn.com) by a wide margin, they were also the worst defensive team. The gulf between theirs and the second worst offensive team's efficiency was wider than the second worst offensive team and the 11th best.
This was truly historic futility.
So, if Michael Kidd-Gilchrist adds anything, he's already a "franchise" player for this terrible franchise. Fortunately, MKG's standards are likely a cut above being just a contributor. I expect impactful wing defense, dogged rebounding and considerable foul-drawing. And eventually, thanks to his work ethic and physical prowess,
I expect Kidd-Gilchrist to an All-Star level player, worthy of the "franchise" descriptor.
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