5 Players Who Must Step Up for Charlotte Bobcats This Season
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In 2013-14, the Charlotte Bobcats will attempt to take a step forward with one of their more complete rosters in franchise history.
After signing veteran center Al Jefferson to a lucrative deal this summer, the Bobcats have built a solid, talented team of young and experienced players.
Ahead are the five players who must step up for Charlotte to move one step closer toward another postseason berth.
Note: This list is in no particular order.
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Paired with either Ramon Sessions or Jannero Pargo in the second unit, Jeffery Taylor is expected to have a big season.
While he struggled with ball control and seemed to be in foul trouble throughout the Las Vegas Summer League, Taylor displayed a remarkable ability to knock down the trey and take the ball aggressively to the hoop as well.
After playing just over 19 minutes per contest throughout his rookie season, per Basketball-Reference, Taylor could be in line for a sixth man-type role as a scorer off the bench this year.
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In his third season, Bismack Biyombo will continue to be a defensive force for the Bobcats.
This year, however, fans will look to see if he can develop any kind of offensive game. He has bad hands, a curse for offensively challenged big men, and he isn't a great passer. He can rebound, though, and that's where his efforts will mostly be focused.
As a substitute for rookie power forward Cody Zeller or Jefferson, Biyombo will be expected to step in and play at a high level when minutes are spread his way.
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As one of the veteran leaders on a young Bobcats team, Al Jefferson must step into a leadership position in his first year with Charlotte.
Obviously the team belongs to young point guard Kemba Walker, but Jefferson's need to step up in 2013-14 won't necessarily revolve around his play. Jefferson will be a mentor of sorts to Zeller and Biyombo, assisting in the development process of the young bigs.
He will also be in the first year of a three-year deal and hopes to portray himself as worthy of the massive deal he landed in Charlotte.
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was advertised as a do-it-all player who had a flawed jumper in the 2012 draft.
After being selected No. 2 overall, Kidd-Gilchrist lived up to expectations for the most part. He played stifling defense and did everything he could on the offensive end, but there was still a hitch in his jump shot.
After hiring Mark Price to assist with Kidd-Gilchrist's development on his shot, the Bobcats are expecting some semblance of growth in his sophomore year.
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Initially thought as a missed opportunity when the Bobcats selected Cody Zeller early in the 2013 NBA draft, Zeller displayed an arsenal at the Las Vegas Summer League that might make him fit perfectly with Charlotte's offensive scheme.
It was only a small sample size, but Zeller put on a show during the summer tournament, knocking down mid-range shots and grabbing plenty of rebounds as well.
To succeed in proving his critics wrong, Zeller will need to follow up his summer performance with a solid season in 2013-14.