During the 2011-12 season, the Charlotte Bobcats won only seven of their 66 games, setting an all-time record for regular-season futility. Subsequently, not much was expected of the NBA cellar-dwellers, even after the offseason additions of Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylor.
It took the Bobcats all of one game to find their claws, beating the Indiana Pacers 90-89 in the first contest of the new season. Then, after 12 games, Charlotte had already managed to match its season total in wins at seven.
Four straight losses knocked the Bobcats down a peg, bringing their record from a promising 7-5 to a far less impressive 7-9, but the early portion of the season has still been an unmitigated success.
However, the small group that identifies themselves as fans of the Bobcats shouldn't get their hopes up too high yet, as the Bobcats are still going to find themselves near the bottom of the NBA standings by the end of the year. They've been the beneficiaries of an easy schedule thus far.
According to Basketball-Reference, only the Pacers have played an easier schedule than the Bobcats through 16 games, and the Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards are the only teams with a less impressive margin of victory—or, in the Bobcats' case, a margin of defeat.
The Bobcats' seven victories have come against teams with a combined win-loss record of 39-61 through Dec. 6.
That leaves the early-season success as a bit of a mirage. Charlotte is much better than it was last year, but Kemba Walker and company still have a long way to go before they'll stay in playoff contention for more than a month.