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TomShoe's Player Profiles FINALE: Charlotte Bobcats

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TomShoe's Player Profiles FINALE: Charlotte Bobcats

Skipping the usual intro today. It's about time I finally post this last piece up. Sorry for being so late for this last one, grandfather being dead, you know, the usual.

This is the end of TomShoe's Player Profiles Series, and I thank everyone that read, commented, and gave thumbs up for all the support they've given throughout the entire series. My heart goes out to you all. This isn't the end, however, as I still have several more articles coming up throughout the upcoming regular season. Keep your eyes peeled for any more insider articles I'll have up soon. Also I'm going to post all of the Player Profiles in one convenient directory to make them easier to access.

As for the TomShoe's Team Forecasts series, I feel the best thing to do would be to put all of the forecasts one one Microsoft Word document, where I'll upload the entire thing to Google Docs and post the link up to avoid having to spam the entire forum board with my topics. It'll keep everything going a lot smoother and make everything much easier to access.

Anyway, moving on to the Bobcats. Last season was just god-awful. I knew they were trying to suck, but I didn't think that it would be this bad. I'm sure that after that season, the Bobcats will be looking to turn the page. Even though they were shafted in the lottery, they've already made some smart decisions, most notably in the front office, where MJ has finally decided to let GM Rich Cho do his job. MKG and Jeff Taylor have arrived from the draft, and they have another 1st round pick to replace the one they lost (in the Tyrus Thomas trade, remember?) They also acquired Sessions, Haywood, and Gordon, and still have Kemba, Biyombo, and Mullens, so they might actually not be the worst team in the league this season. Baby steps.

Again, thanks for all your support, and I'll be seeing you guys soon.

Enjoy.

-TomShoe


PROJECTED STARTERS

RAMON SESSIONS, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

18.4
3.9
7.2
19.2

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Pick-and-roll point guard who sees floor well and makes short-range floaters.
+ Not a great athlete but excellent feel for game on offense. Poor outside shooter.
+ Terrible defensive player. Can't move laterally at all. Better against 2s.

Analysis
I'll say this for Sessions: He wasn't a good defender in 2011-12 by any stretch, but he gave it a much better effort and at least forced opponents to take more circuitous routes around him. Opposing point guards had a 15.1 PER against him in Cleveland and a 16.7 mark in L.A. with the Lakers, according to 82games.com, and his Synergy ratings were well below average in both stops. That's actually a big improvement, and he provides so many positives at the other end that you can live with his defense at this level.

This is especially true if the ball is in his hands a lot, like it will be in Charlotte. Sessions was a bit miscast with the Lakers because he's not a good spot-up shooter, something that became obvious when he went 4-of-25 on 3s in the playoffs. Sessions' career-high regular-season 3-point mark was a total outlier; he's at 33.3 percent for his career and shoots them only when he's completely unmolested. He also made just 32.7 percent of his long 2s. Basically, he needs to get to the basket to have an impact.

Where he excels is operating pick-and-rolls, especially going to his right. While his instincts are more as a scorer, he consistently finds the open man -- he was 19th in pure point rating -- and draws tons of fouls while doing so, ranking third at his position in free throw rate. He's also a very good rebounder for his size, ranking 10th at his position and partially offsetting his otherwise lacking defense.

All told, his combination of skills makes him a much better fit as a starter on a bad team, or perhaps running the second unit of a good one. Charlotte is going to be awful, but fantasy leaguers should jump on Sessions.

GERALD HENDERSON, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

18.1
5.0
2.7
14.3

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Athletic shooting guard who can finish at rim. Quick leaper. Likes long 2s.
+ Poor shooter off catch but good on midrange curls. Poor court vision.
+ Slightly undersized but solid defender with wiry strength, strong focus.

Analysis
It's scary to think that Henderson was the Bobcats' best player last season. He's a marginal starter who relies too much on midrange jump shots, the least efficient shot in the game. Among shooting guards, only Richard Hamilton took a higher proportion of his shots from 10 to 23 feet, and Gerald doesn't stroke it like Rip does.

He's not a bad shooter, making 40.5 percent from 10 to 23 feet last season, and he's become pretty effective at mid-post isos when he catches a weak defender on him. But he shoots 68 percent at the basket, and barely a quarter of his shots came from that distance; obviously those are the shots he'd prefer.

Somehow Henderson drew a high rate of fouls anyway, and overall he rates as an effective scorer inside the 3-point line. But he hardly ever shoots 3s, making only 11 all of last season, so his TS% lands well below the norm for his position. Throw in a subpar assist rate and he's not really helping that much offensively.

His value lies in the other stuff. Henderson is one of the best rebounders at his position and a plus defender -- not elite, perhaps, but definitely helpful, although his effort slackened a bit last season. On a good team, those skills would likely matter more and make him a helpful fifth starter or key reserve. On this one, he's miscast as a go-to guy.

MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Big wing with elite athleticism and nonstop motor. Tough, aggressive.
+ Outstanding finisher but poor outside shooter. Draws fouls.

Analysis
They took the right guy at No. 2. Kidd-Gilchrist was the lowest-risk player in the draft with two eyebrows. Athletic wings with size almost never fail; throw in the sterling grades everyone gives for Kidd-Gilchrist's intangibles, and he seems unlikely to become one of the exceptions. Additionally, he was the youngest player in the 2012 draft and, thus, has the greatest scope for improvement.

His jump shot is a problem, but he's not Ben Wallace either: He shot 74 percent from the line at Kentucky, and drew heaps of free throws along the way. If anything, his handle is likely to be a bigger obstacle, although I suspect he'll be a very effective post-up 3 given his body and aggressiveness. He's drawn a lot of comparisons to Gerald Wallace, even before the Bobcats drafted him. He's not a superstar, it seems, but he's rock solid.

TYRUS THOMAS, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

13.6
8.6
1.4
11.9

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Long, athletic, slender big man who can run the floor, block shots and finish.
+ Plagued by poor decisions and bad handle. Tries to do too much offensively.
+ Mistake-prone defender. Has great tools but not always in the right spot.

Analysis
Of all the comical things the Bobcats did last season, one of the worst was trying to play Thomas at the 3. He was arguably their best player as a 4 and 5 the season before but started at small forward for a big chunk of last season and was a fish out of water.

Of course, it might not have mattered  Thomas' season went off the rails in several different directions, resulting in a jaw-dropping halving of his PER that ranked as the fourth-largest decline in the past two-plus decades. Thomas' shooting percentages and rebound rates both fell spectacularly, accelerated by trying to become a jump shooter and missing them all.

He hit only 48 percent in the basket area after converting 67 percent a year earlier, but the real problem was that he hit a pathetic 33.8 percent away from the rim ... and that only two players took a higher proportion of their shots as midrange jumpers. Sum it up and his TS% ranked 67th out of 70 power forwards, and unlike others in this bailiwick, he didn't have the good sense to stop shooting.

Defensively, he again blocked shots at a high rate -- only two power forwards swatted more per minute -- but was plagued by fouls, ranking third at his position with a whistle every 7 minutes. Additionally, his usual problems also surfaced, as he was often inattentive or out of position.

Thomas is only 25 and there didn't seem any major cause for his sudden, shocking decline last season, so I suppose it's possible he could make an equally sized rebound. Looking at his career, last season is a glaring outlier; he's been a productive player every other season. On the other hand, history says players who find an abyss this deep rarely come back all the way.

BISMACK BIYOMBO, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

10.1
10.5
0.9
11.9

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Shot-blocking big man with great lateral movement. Huge defensive potential.
+ A project offensively. Can finish but lacks great instincts. Bad hands.
+ Average rebounding numbers. Very poor foul shooter. Needs game experience.

Analysis
Biyombo is miles away offensively and shouldn't be starting for an NBA team, but my goodness can he do some amazing things on defense. Show me another center who can force an 8-count in the backcourt, for instance. (It was on DeShawn Stevenson, but still.) Or how about the game-winning two-handed block he had of a Trevor Ariza dunk attempt?

Biyombo finished sixth among centers in blocks per minute, and his overall defensive numbers were some of the best on the team (faint praise, admittedly) despite his lack of experience. Of particular note is his instinctive use of his left hand to block shots, which is the way to do it since it lines up with the right hand that most players use to shoot. Despite being a bit undersized for a 5, he's also a solid low-post and pick-and-roll defender.

Biyombo's rebounding numbers were disappointing, however, and as for his offense ... have I told you about his defense? Biyombo has poor hands and lacks touch, making just 46.4 percent from the floor. That's partly because he shot far too many jumpers -- he hit 61.6 percent in the basket area but only 31.4 percent from any further. He also hit an abysmal 48.3 percent from the line, offsetting a high free throw rate.

Biyombo is by all accounts smart and hard-working and will undoubtedly improve, but his undeveloped offensive game is the biggest obstacle to his being a long-term solution at center.


RESERVES

KEMBA WALKER, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

19.0
5.1
6.7
16.7

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Quick, explosive, shoot-first guard who can break down defenses and score.
+ Pounds ball searching for shots. Must improve as distributor. Shaky outside shooter.
+ Short but tough, a decent defender. Great rebounder for size. Good handle.

Analysis
Walker's rookie season wasn't bad statistically, but scouts didn't give him many style points for the way he pounded the ball while searching for shots and his low-percentage shooting. Walker was often forced to create something given the horrific options surrounding him, but that doesn't entirely excuse a 46.4 TS% and an embarrassing 39.2 percent mark on 2-pointers. He had a lot of trouble finishing at the rim in particular; only teammate D.J. Augustin converted a lower percentage there.

Not that he could make 3s either -- Walker converted only 30.5 percent, and defenders consistently went under screens against him. It appears he needs to come to a full stop and gather himself to have a good chance of making it, and that takes too long.

Walker does have a tight handle and had one of the best turnover rates at his position. He also ranked fifth among point guards in rebound rate, which is pretty amazing at his size. Also, his defense was passable for a rookie. He rarely fouled, as if he were still in college and thought he had to avoid fouls so he could play the whole game. And while he showed quick hands at times, he needs to get more involved off the ball. Nonetheless, the Bobcats defended better with him on the floor, and Synergy found him adequate.

BEN GORDON, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

17.6
3.3
3.5
12.7

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Combo guard with gorgeous, high-arcing jumper. Quick, compact release.
+ Powerful, short-armed build. Turnover-prone ball handler who usually goes right.
+ B athlete. Bad defender who lacks size to stop 2s and quickness to play 1s.

Analysis
Gordon has declined badly in other respects, but let's not forget he's still one of the best shooters on the planet. Last season he hit 42.9 percent of his 3s and 44.1 percent of his 2s beyond 10 feet, allowing him to carve out a decent PER despite taking only 72 shots at the rim all season and having the second-worst turnover rates at his position.

That's the big problem with Gordon right now -- he needs to play off the ball and stop handling it. He had the third-worst pure point rating among shooting guards because Detroit kept putting him in pick-and-rolls even though he has no left hand, limited athleticism and near-total tunnel vision once he puts in the floor.

Defensively, Gordon struggled, and at this point he needs his matchups monitored very carefully. Synergy rated him among the worst defenders in basketball, and the Pistons gave up 3.6 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court. In particular, post-up guards give him problems; at 6-foot-3 with little lift, he has no chance of contesting the shot.

BRENDAN HAYWOOD, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

8.9
10.8
0.7
11.6

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Big center who can finish dunks and short hooks. Limited low-post game.
+ Horrendous foul shooter. Has few ball skills. Solid rebounder.
+ Size, shot-blocking make him plus defender, but motivation comes and goes.

Analysis
Haywood improved to 46.9 percent from the line -- you read that correctly -- and yet had no more offensive value than the previous season, when he managed the difficult feat of posting a negative secondary percentage. Producing just fewer than 10 points per 40 minutes for the second straight season, with modest efficiency and ballhandling numbers, there was just no way to justify his hefty contract.

Haywood did convert 67.1 percent of his shots in the basket area but had too many tries away from the rim -- those accounted for more than a third of his shots and he made only 27.3 percent. Meanwhile, opponents fouled him liberally to take away dunks and layups, knowing his struggles from the stripe.

Defensively he can still do solid work, although his effort yo-yos, and that's where Charlotte is likely to benefit. Haywood is an above-average rebounder, a solid rim-protector and an excellent low-post defender whose teams have consistently played better with him on the court. At 32, he's unlikely to change his stripes except for the worse, but he'll give the Bobcats an inexpensive stopgap.

MATT CARROLL, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

10.2
4.0
2.5
6.9

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Slow-footed guard with accurate outside shot. Slow, low release on J.
+ Likes to shot-fake and drive. Not athletic but good at drawing fouls on drives.
+ Good team defender but overmatched one-on-one. Lacks mobility and hops.

Analysis
It's over.

Carroll somehow got into 52 games, and responded with the seventh-worst PER in basketball -- particularly bad news given that he's an offensive specialist who is overmatched on defense. He was last among shooting guards in three different categories (FG%, TS% and PER), second-to-last in points per minute, and his once-deadly 3-point game completely abandoned him (he was 8-for-43 on the season).

At 32, with three of the past four years in single-digits in PER and offering no defensive value, Carroll really has no business being in the league anymore. He has one guaranteed year left with the Bobcats, and then it's likely curtains.

REGGIE WILLIAMS, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

15.3
5.1
5.3
13.1

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Left-handed wing with scorer's instincts and "point forward" passing skills.
+ Average athlete at best and an atrocious defender with poor habits.
+ Very good spot-up shooter. Careful player -- rarely draws fouls or turns it over.

Analysis
Williams had a rough year in his first season with Charlotte, struggling with knee problems and failing to deliver his useful offensive spark while getting lit up routinely on defense. While his counterpart data was solid, the Bobcats gave up 4.3 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court and Synergy graded him as the team's worst defender -- quite a statement on this team.

Williams shot only 30.8 percent on 3s, far below his career norms, and it's fair to expect that number to bounce back this season. But the more worrisome development was that his free throw rate cratered. Williams had shot 67 percent at the basket with a high free throw rate in his final season in Golden State, but last season he had a below-average rate, barely half what he'd done a year earlier.

Otherwise, his numbers weren't far off what he did in Golden State. Williams saw a small uptick in turnovers, but basically he did everything else at about the same rate and efficiency he'd done as a Warrior; he just stopped making 3s and getting to the line. Unfortunately, that's the difference between being a highly efficient sixth man and just an average offensive player who can't guard anyone.

BYRON MULLENS, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

16.4
8.8
1.7
13.4

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Sweet-shooting 7-footer who moves well for size. Good face-up game.
+ Needs to improve ball skills and post game. Poor rebounder.
+ Subpar defender. Needs more strength and help-side awareness.

Analysis
Mullens proved a nice value pickup for the Bobcats after barely playing in Oklahoma City. He flashed a sweet midrange game for a big guy and was able to score both on pick-and-pops and isos. He probably was a bit too aggressive shooting from out there, making only 35.3 percent from 16 to 23 feet but launching more than four long Js a game.

You'd like to see Mullens get to the rim more, since he shot 64 percent in the basket area and he's money from the free throw line (82.1 percent). But the advantage of the jumpers is the absence of turnovers; Mullens had the seventh-lowest rate among centers and decent assist totals.

Now he has to do more than make jumpers. Mullens was 58th out of 63 centers in rebound rate and has to improve his defensive effort and awareness. He's soft, looked lost at times and goes for every shot fake -- in one particularly gruesome game against Utah, it was as if Al Jefferson had him on a yo-yo. He blocks some shots and has the mobility to eventually be solid, but he needs more strength and game experience.

JEFFERY TAYLOR, G

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Slow-footed guard with accurate outside shot. Slow, low release on J.
+ Likes to shot-fake and drive. Not athletic but good at drawing fouls on drives.

Analysis
The unquestioned captain of the "guys you had no idea were Swedish" All-Star team, Taylor was drafted to fill the defense-and-corner-3s role so many teams expect from their wing players. It appears he might prove better at the first task than the second.

Taylor certainly has the requisite size, athleticism and makeup to be a quality NBA defender, but I'm not sure how much he brings to the table at the other end. He's very old for a rookie, turning 23 in May, and still didn't put up terribly impressive numbers in his fourth season at Vanderbilt. His 3-point shot percentage improved to 42.3 percent, but his career stats and free throw numbers (just 60.5 percent as a senior, 69.3 percent career) suggest that performance was a fluke. He'll have to prove he can complement his defense with some offense to be more than a 12th man type.

DESAGANA DIOP, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

(Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season ) | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Huge center who moves fairly well for size. Good help defender.
+ Has little to no offensive value. Poor hands and instincts. Can't shoot.

Analysis
Diop is so bad at offense, he makes Bismack Biyombo look like Tim Duncan; he shot 35.7 percent last season and it was actually an improvement on the year before. Plus he again had one of the worst turnover rates in basketball.

A solid 7-footer with decent mobility, he is a plus defender, especially against big post players. But he's so disastrous offensively that it's difficult to put him on the court. With one year left on a laughably overvalued contract, he's a prime candidate for a midseason buyout. If so, there's a chance he could help as a third center on a playoff team.


Lebron's Hairline
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Jeffrey Taylor was one of the

Jeffrey Taylor was one of the most athletic and strong wing players in this draft, what is John talking about?

3--6
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agreed

agreed

stepback3
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Jeffrey Taylor's scouting report is the same as Matt Carrol'sls

Matt Carroll

+ Slow-footed guard with accurate outside shot. Slow, low release on J.
+ Likes to shot-fake and drive. Not athletic but good at drawing fouls on drives.

Jeffrey Taylor

+ Slow-footed guard with accurate outside shot. Slow, low release on J.
+ Likes to shot-fake and drive. Not athletic but good at drawing fouls on drives.

It is a mistake.

cornegg
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1 year 8 months 8 days

Days till Diop contract runs out!

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I think people are too low on

I think people are too low on Henderson, his value has been hidden by constant minor injuries and playing on terrible teams. He's really got quite an impressive offensive package and I think people will be surprised how well he plays in a year or two when the Bobcats are looking competitive again.

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