4 Problems the Charlotte Bobcats Must Fix
I guess you could say it was fun while it lasted.
Since coming out hot, the Charlotte Bobcats have struggled. After earning their seventh win in 13 tries, they've gone back to their losing ways and now sit with a woeful 7-16 record.
Some of the losses have been blowouts. Some of the losses have been heartbreakers. But all that matters at the end of the day is that they are losses.
The Bobcats are playing much better than last year (for the most part), but they have problems that need to be addressed if they want to continue to improve and start winning again.
The Charlotte Bobcats are a much more talented team than last year, for the most part.
But they're youthful and inexperienced and that has led to a serious lack of consistency over the first quarter of the season, as is proven by their strong start and current losing streak.
Is it lack of talent? Perhaps, comparably to other teams, yes. But for the most part, it's lack of consistency.
Players like Kemba Walker, Byron Mullens, Jeff Taylor, Ramon Sessions and even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have yet to find a common center of consistency. They can have nights where they look like superstars and nights where they look young, lazy and perplexed.
They're putting up solid statistics so far this season, but for the Bobcats to have any hope this season, they have to start having solid nights every night instead of one or two having great nights while the rest of the team flounders.
2: Foul Trouble
It seems like every game the Bobcats play, foul trouble is a massive problem for the young team.
For all of the talent this team is capable of, they just always seem to get into foul trouble, which obviously negatively impacts the style of play for the team.
When the entire rotation has four or five fouls, there are five minutes left in a game and the Bobcats are up or down by five points, you can bet that Charlotte is going to end up losing that game.
Is it because the Bobcats are the worse team? Absolutely not. It's because they can't play with the aggression that they need to play with in order to win—for fear of fouling out.
Young guys like MKG seem to be on the border of fouling out every single night. It's aggressive play, and that's great. But dumb mistakes cause fouls—and fouls lose games.
It negatively impacts the defense, another problem the Bobcats seriously have to address.
Head coach Mike Dunlap has come into the season preaching a high-tempo, intense and aggressive defense.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Lately, it doesn't seem to be working too well.
Guys like Kidd-Gilchrist can be too aggressive. Guys like Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker keep getting beat off the dribble. For the most part, the aggression can be too much. Running to try to intercept a simple pass will leave an easy lane or shot open when the steal attempt doesn't work.
Or going back to the previous slide, an aggressive block attempt in the paint or even on the perimeter will turn into a foul for unnecessary contact.
Dunlap's defensive scheme works. It has proven to work when the Bobcats got off to their hot start. But the young team needs to harness their aggression if they want to remain competitive on the defensive end of the ball.
As the team ages and continues to acclimate to the style of play, defense will get better. But right now, teams are taking advantage of the lack of experience.
4: Perimeter Shooting
The Bobcats do a pretty good job of scoring in the paint. Guys like MKG, Brendan Haywood, and Byron Mullens have excelled at finishing at the rim.
Even the backcourt thrives at driving to the rim. Walker, Sessions, Henderson and Taylor are all excellent at finishing at the rim or pulling back for a short-to-mid-range jumper. But perimeter offense is a very serious problem.
Ben Gordon is one of the most effective three-point shooters in the game. He's shooting 43.9 percent from long range, which is absolutely fantastic. But he's just about the only one.
Seven-foot power forward Mullens is not afraid to take a three-pointer and while some nights he has a hot shot, most of the time he comes up empty.
Jeff Taylor is getting better at shooting the three, but guards like Walker, Gerald Henderson and Sessions all lack consistency from three-point land.
This makes the Bobcats a one-dimensional team, and it looks like other teams have figured that out.
If I were Dunlap, the biggest thing I'd be working on right now is spreading the offense and trying to find more consistency in long-range shooting. The Bobcats will never be a good team without that kind of consistency.