One Major Adjustment Charlotte Bobcats Must Make Post-All-Star Break

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One Major Adjustment Charlotte Bobcats Must Make Post-All-Star Break
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Bobcats center Byron Mullens needs help in the post.

It is time for the Charlotte Bobcats to vigorously hunt for their perfect big man.

There are a mass of guards on the team, with second-year point Kemba Walker leading the offense.

Even if they do decide to get rid of their overpaid reserve Ben Gordon via trade, there will still be Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions to suffice.

There have been recent reports on Charlotte seeking to trade Gordon, who makes $12.4 million this season and is set to make $13.2 million in the next.

That is a lot of money for a guy who is averaging a career-low in numbers and disrespected his head coach.

The most prominent rumor is a deal that would send Gordon to Brooklyn for Nets power forward Kris Humphries

That trade works only fiscally, since they both make around the same money. But Humphries would not be the difference-maker the Bobcats need in the post.

After having the best season of his career in 2011-12, Humphries' game went from averaging a double-double to just six points and six rebounds per game this year, as of Feb. 16.

The Bobcats have also shown recent interest in Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani, who is set to make $10.75 million next season.

Bargnani has better numbers than Humphries, with 14.8 points and 3.9 rebounds a game, but he still would not make a huge difference in Charlotte.

In order for the Bobcats to get better in the post, they must look at their own assets first.

 

Byron Mullens Must Stay Healthy

When center Byron Mullens missed 19 games due to a foot injury earlier in the season, players Brendan Haywood, Hakim Warrick and Bismack Biyombo all tried to fill in for him. 

They weren't the most reliable bunch when it came to points, but one common denominator among the three is that they are more useful on defense than offense.

Once Mullens returned to the lineup, his impact was immediate. 

In the Boston Celtics game on Feb. 11, Mullens posted 25 points, 18 rebounds and four assists while shooting 10-16 from the field. He also connected four out of five treys.

Byron Mullens helps the Bobcats with win over the Celtics.

 

See how comfortable Mullens looked posting up? That's a sight Dunlap wants to see regularly. 

Dunlap recently told Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell that he wants Mullens to take less three-point shots and shoot more from the post.

Mullens had another big night against the Indiana Pacers right before the All-Star break. Although he only grabbed three boards, he still scored 19 points in the Bobcats loss.

In the last six games Mullens has averaged 17.8 points and 8.7 rebounds.

If the seven-footer can stay healthy for the remainder of the season, the Bobcats post presence will strengthen. 

 

Developing Bismack Biyombo 

Bismack Biyombo was drafted seventh overall two years ago, but watching him play indicates otherwise. 

In short, the kid is atrocious on offense.

His defensive game is what's keeping him on an NBA roster. He's the type that will score only two points but will bring down 10 boards and block two or three shots.

The Rockets won in spite of being Biz-Smacked.

 

This is a good example of typical Biz play. In this late-January game against the Houston Rockets, Biyombo only scored one basket but smacked seven shots and had nine rebounds. 

The 20-year-old power forward has shown flashes of his potential throughout the season, including the 16-rebound performance against the Pacers on Feb. 13.

It is clear that Dunlap wants to develop Biyombo as a fierce, defensive big man. After all, that is where Biz's strength lies. 

His limited basketball experience is definitely a factor to his almost non-existent offensive game. However, Dunlap still believes in his raw forward.

“He’s athletic, he’s powerful, he’s strong, and everybody needs patience with him,” Dunlap said to the Observer's Rick Bonnell. “When everybody jumps off the bandwagon, we’ll play him through the storm.”

That ought to boost Biyombo's confidence. 

Lacking a strong post game has hindered the Bobcats all season, but that does not mean the organization is looking for a quick fix before the trade deadline expires.

Bobcats team president of operations, Rod Higgins, told The Associated Press that finding a difference-making, "quality big" in the middle of the season is highly unlikely. 

If all else fails, Charlotte can look to this year's draft or free agency to add their perfect post player.

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