Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
While the perception around the country is that the Bobcats are playing better than expected, some (including myself) saw this as a fairly complete roster. In a weak Eastern Conference, a close-to .500 record and the No. 7 or No. 8 seed seemed attainable.
Given that, the team's 18-25 record is not all that impressive. But that should be attributed to some underwhelming performances more than to Steve Clifford's coaching.
Clifford has Charlotte playing strong defense, something that this roster did not appear capable of doing. The Bobcats protect the rim (eighth in the NBA with 217 blocks), contest shots (seventh in opponent field-goal percentage), avoid fouling (sixth in fouls per field-goal attempts) and control the glass (No. 2 in defensive-rebounding rate).
The Bobcats do this by packing the paint, and it does lead to tons of open threes (No. 28 in threes against and No. 28 in three-point percentage against). This is an acceptable sacrifice, however, as the team possesses league's seventh-best defensive rating (103.4).
The offense is incredibly inefficient, but that can be expected from a team whose best passer is Josh McRoberts, best shooter is Anthony Tolliver and is awful from the charity stripe (73.1 percent, No. 23 in league).
What Clifford can control is offensive habits. Considering that Charlotte takes care of the ball (fourth-fewest turnovers in NBA) and gets to the line (fifth-most free throws made in NBA), he cannot be blamed for a poor offense the same way he can be credited with a stout defense.