Here at Blue Man Hoop, we’re gearing up for the 2012-13 season by looking around the NBA to see how each team matches up with the Golden State Warriors. We’ll give you an overview of each opponent, a matchup or stat to watch and a measure of just how big a threat each opposing squad represents for the Dubs. Be sure to check out the other previews we’ve done so far on Blue Man Hoop: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets.
Charlotte Bobcats Overview
Holy cow, were the Bobcats terrible last year. And they didn’t even get Anthony Davis out of the deal. While the draft’s top prize headed to New Orleans, Michael Jordan’s ‘Cats went home with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the consolation. MKG probably has a future as a solid pro, but he’s definitely not the difference-making force that Davis projects to be.
I guess you could say Kemba Walker “led” the Bobcats to a 7-59 record last season. Gerald Henderson led the team in scoring with an average of 15.1 per game while rookie Bismack Biyombo was tops on the glass, averaging 5.8 boards per contest.
The best thing you can say about Charlotte is that they’re a young team with room to improve. But the problem is that their young players have already played a full season for a franchise with the worst losing culture in the league. But the front office has added a few pieces to help the youngsters try to break the string of losing seasons in Charlotte.
Ben Gordon’s slated to start at the two, so pencil him in for 12-15 points and nothing else. Either Byron Mullens or Brendan Haywood will take up space at center and Ramon Sessions will probably push Walker for the starting job at the point. MKG and Biyombo round out the league’s worst starting five.
Of course, now that I’ve ripped the Bobcats, I have to mention that one of their seven wins last year came against Golden State. Monta Ellis absolutely shot the Warriors out of that game, going just 6-for-26 in a 12-point loss on January 14. Plus, he dogged it on defense, allowing the Bobcats tiny guard combo of Walker and DJ Augustin to shoot a combined 12-of-23 for 39 points and 12 assists.
Key Matchup / Important Stat
Charlotte rated dead-last in offensive efficiency last year, scoring just 92.3 points per 100 possessions. And it wasn’t close—the Bobcats trailed Washington and Detroit (who tied for second-worst in the category) by more than five points. That’s historically bad.
So the key for the Warriors will be keeping Charlotte in a halfcourt set. Forcing them to try to execute, and not letting them get easy buckets in transition, is probably the easiest way to beat them. But, to be honest, there are probably about a hundred easy ways to beat this team. They don’t rebound or shoot well, and they were also the NBA’s worst defensive team.
Threat Level: 0/10
The Warriors should sweep this season series. The Bobcats are about as threatening as a basket of kittens. Soft kittens.