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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How Bad Are The Bobcats?


Five and thirty-one. That's the current record of the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA's worst team. They have a winning percentage of .139 and trail the second-worst Hornets by 3 full games. Their point differential is a stunning -13.6. Even the 12-win New Jersey Nets of 2 seasons ago only had a -9.1 point differential. Things are rough in the Queen City to say the least.

There is very little hope to be had when you take a closer look at some of the numbers. The Bobcats offense is atrocious, scoring about 92 points per 100 possessions. This is last in the league by almost 4 whole points. It is 7 points worse than the offensively-challenged Milwaukee Bucks of last year. Offense is a little down around the league due to the compressed schedule, but its not quite as drastic a falloff as the Bobcats are making it look. The Cats don't do much on the other end of the floor with a defensive efficiency of 107.7 that is only better than the Nets. The differential between their offensive and defensive efficiency (one of my favorite predictors of success) is -15.77, last in the league by a full 6 points.

The Bobcats shoot poorly (a 48.1 true shooting percentage, well below the league average of 52.2, and 29.9 percent from three) and don't rebound (last in total rebound rate, 28th and 25 in offensive and defensive rate, respectively). They allow a 54.6 opponent true shooting percentage and give up 30 attempts at the rim per game (most in the league by 3 attempts). While they allow opponents to get good looks at the rim, they take a league high 28.1 attempts from 16-23 feet, an inefficient shot to begin with, let alone with a poor shooting team.

Charlotte has only 2 players with a PER above league average (15) in Kemba Walker (15.57) and Derrick Brown (15.14). This, of course, doesn't account for the fact that Walker is flammable on defense. The only teams that come close to this level of roster futility are Toronto and Detroit. However, their players above the 15 watermark play at a much higher level (All-Star caliber in Greg Monroe's case). Another problem could be Corey Maggette, who, with an 11.23 PER, plays 28.2 minutes per game and has a team-high usage rate. There aren't many great options for them to turn to, but perhaps Corey should give it up a little bit more.

Needless to say, the Bobcats are rebuilding. Hopefully with the talented mind of Rich Cho and some lucky bounces from ping pong balls, Charlotte can soon move into relevance and avoid being relocated. In the meantime I'll consider myself lucky that LeaguePass blacks out Bobcats games.

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