NBA: Charlotte Bobcats Off to Impressive Start

The Charlotte Bobcats have 6 wins on the season, yet it is not even the end of November. That is right, the Bobcats are one win from matching their number of wins from last season and they have only played 10 games. The Bobcats are currently tied for second place with the Atlanta Hawks at 6-4, trailing only the Miami Heat in the Southeast division.

Thus far, in the early going, the Bobcats are the most surprising team in the NBA. Charlotte has won five of six and with their next win match what they won in 66 games last season.

What is impressive about the turnaround is last year they had a winning percentage of .106, which was the worst in NBA history and finished a dismal 7-59. The Bobcats ended their season 0-23.

However, Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bobcats’ front office brought in Mike Dunlap a defensive style head coach and that has helped them become competitive and given them a knack of how to close out games. Charlotte thus far is 5-0 in games that have been decided by four or fewer points.

Dunlap preaches defense and if his style has been doubted by fans, players or the front office, the quick six victories have helped to eliminate that. The team is not loaded with talent and Dunlap knows that so he wanted the team to be very well conditioned and use their young fresh legs to their advantage.

Thus far, Charlotte is only allowing opponents to score 98.8 points a game against them. However, they are in the league’s top ten in steals with 86 and blocked shots with 76. The defense is also crating almost 15 turnovers a game.

An example of how their defense has improved was seen in their win Wednesday against Toronto. The Raptors had the ball with 28 second left in the game trailing 98-97. Toronto took four shots during their final possession. Two of the shots were blocked by the Bobcats’ defense and two missed their mark, final score 98-97 Bobcats.

With starting guard Gerald Henderson injured, the starting five for Charlotte includes two rookies Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the second overall pick in the draft and Michael Taylor, Bryon Mullens a third year player, Brendan Haywood, claimed from Dallas on waivers and second year player Kemba Walker.

However, two players off the bench Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions, are helping them offensively and giving much needed experience. Sessions is averaging over 16 points a game and Gordon is chipping in with 13 points per game.

Walker has become the leader on the team and working with Sessions every day in practice has helped him. Walker has a scoring average of nearly 19 points a game and 5.5 assists.

Dunlap says Walker is only 6-foot, but is fearless on the court and when he penetrates towards the basket. The coach called Walker the team’s quarterback and that he is responsible for many things on the court. Dunlap called Walker the best player to enter the NBA last season.

In the early going of the season, the team has defeated teams such as Minnesota, Milwaukee and Dallas, but has not played powerhouses like Oklahoma City, Memphis or the defending NBA champions the Miami Heat.

Dunlap is hoping when the team meets the strongest teams in the league, his players will warm up to the task and compete with them. He says there has not been a winning culture in the organization and each win they have is helping to create one.

  • 100%