Charlotte Bobcats Stock Watch: Risers, Fallers Heading into NBA All-Star Break
The All-Star weekend is underway, and the Charlotte Bobcats could use the vacation.
It's the time when losing teams can think about what needs to be done to improve. Some players either become studs at this point, or duds.
There's really no use in dedicating a slide to something that's obvious: Walker's stock stays up and will continue to rise.
With trade talks heating up, the Bobcats could be heading toward a better start after the All-Star break.
Byron Mullens: Riser
Byron Mullens has been the surprise hero of the Bobcats in recent games.
He helped the Bobcats win against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 11 with his 25 points, 18 rebounds and four assists.
The hot streak continued in the Pacers game two days later, where he scored nine of his 19 points in the first quarter.
Who knew Bryon Mullens was even capable of those numbers?
The 18 rebounds was definitely a new one for Mullens. He told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that he has shown the Bobcats he can crash the boards.
Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap told Bonnell he wants to see Mullens take more post shots.
It's always great to see a seven-footer with a sweet outside shot, but it's even greater when he can intimidate down in the paint.
Charlotte is in luck, though. Mullens clearly realizes his responsibilities as the Bobcats' best big man.
If he keeps playing like he does, he will have no problem adjusting.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Faller
The rookie was diagnosed with a concussion and sat out for two games, but his game started to slip before the injury.
He has scored less than 10 points in 13 of Charlotte's last 15 games, including a two-point performance against the Pacers.
The most shots he took in that stretch were nine. Obviously, his confidence is dwindling.
Kidd-Gilchrist is still a reliable force on the other side of the ball. His injuries show that he is willing to put his body on the line for the sake of solid defense, but the Bobcats need more input from him.
MKG is a determined basketball player and will probably finish his rookie season strong. If he continues to struggle with his offensive game, there's no doubt he will find a way to contribute elsewhere.
Gerald Henderson: Riser
Gerald Henderson is in a crowd of talented wingmen, but he is starting to creep back into the limelight.
The four-year guard has averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and two assists per game this month on 45 percent shooting.
He missed 15 games due to a foot injury but has been consistent ever since.
If Gordon is out, then Henderson will have no choice but to heed coach Mike Dunlap's ultimatum: shoot more threes or don't play.
He has already attempted 51 treys, four more than last season's total.
Hendo has been a great leader for this young squad in the last couple of seasons, which is why he bears the captain title.
He becomes a restricted free agent after his rookie contract expires in July, but his value to the team will probably keep him in Charlotte.
Ramon Sessions: Riser
Ramon Sessions may not be voted Sixth Man of the Year, but he is sure making a case for himself.
The six-year point guard has been reliable off the bench all season. His career-best 15.1 points per game is second to Kemba Walker's 17.3 points average.
Walker obviously leads the offense, but Sessions isn't afraid to have the ball in crunch time.
His 18-footer with 26 seconds left against the Celtics helped seal the win for Charlotte. It was an impressive victory against a team that came off a seven-game winning streak.
Mike Dunlap told Bonnell in November that Sessions is a great "closer" for Walker, relieving him of some of the pressures of making constant decisions.
It looks like Sessions is comfortable with taking that load off. Like Walker, his stock will keep rising.
Bismack Biyombo: Faller
Still, he hasn't been playing like a lottery draft pick.
Biyombo is a scrub in the points category, but his defensive game keeps him in the starting lineup. He grabbed 16 boards in the Pacers game on Feb. 13.
That and his average of 1.8 blocks show he is capable of being an intimidating force down below. And Mike Dunlap believes in his potential.
But it's time for Biyombo to pick up the pace in order to keep up with the elite post men in the league.
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