Wallace Can Take The Bobcats To The Playoffs If?

Mike JamesContributor IDecember 11, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 6:  Gerald Wallace #3 of the Charlotte Bobcats handles the ball during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on November 6, 2009 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Bobcats won 103-83.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Bobcats are on pace to do something that's never been done before by the Charlotte Bobcats and that's make the playoffs. I don't think it's a question of if they will make the playoffs but where they finish. I am going to say they finish as the 7th seed in the East.

This is why I say that. When I look at the numbers and numbers never lie the Bobcats are better than their record right now. Since the Stephen Jackson trade the Bobcats are 6-5 and they beat the Cavs and the Nuggets.

Before Stephen Jackson the Bobcats scored over 90 points in only two games and that was in a win against New York and a win against Atlanta. Since the trade the Bobcats have scored over 90 in 8 of the past 11 games with 6 of those for wins.

The thing I like about this team is the defensive presence. This team plays defence that's an indication that Larry Brown has put his stamp on this team. The last thing Larry Brown focuses on is scoring but let's look at what has happened since the trade. The Bobcats are scoring 97 points a game since the SJ trade and that's up from 82 points a game. That's a 15 point increase.

On defence the Bobcats were number one in points allowed at 88 points per game and now they are giving up 92 a game. You see a 4 point increase but instead of having a -6 point differential they have a +4. If you study the numbers in the NBA a team with a +4 point differential usually finishes in the top 4 in the conference. It's all about defence in the East.

It will only get better for the Bobcats as they get more experience playing together and all the pieces start to fit. This team understands who they are and ninety percent of winning basketball is having an identity. It's not just a slogan "play the right way" it's a team identity. Larry Brown is smarter than most of us realize.

Playing the right way means, play hard every night, rebound, defend, and protect the ball. It's so simple and that's who the Bobcats are becoming. If this team continues to average 97 to 100 points a game, they will win 48 games and that will definitely get them a 7 or 6 seed.