From a playoff team in 2010, the Charlotte Bobcats made the opposite road that’s usually expected of a young expansion team finally making the postseason for the first time. Instead of solidifying and cementing its place as a playoff contender, things have taken a turn for the worst, and the Michael Jordan owned franchise is at a league worst 3-25.
How bad are things right now? The Bobcats are on a 15 game losing streak. They have the worst offense in the league, scoring 86.4 points per game. Defense? Third worst, one of the three teams allowing over 100 points per game. They are the only team losing or winning (and it’s been almost only losing in 2012) by an average of double figures. It’s at 14.4 points as of now.
They are also the worst rebounding team in the league, with 40 per game, getting out rebounded by their opponents by 4.7 boards each night. They simply struggle, painfully, on both sides of the ball. In three point shooting (28th in the league, 29.7%), field goal percentage (29th, 41.4%) and it’s not all.
They’re, simply putting it, historically bad, so far. Their 0.107 winning rate so far is the lowest in the history of the league, if things stay like this. The 1972-1973 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished with an all time worst 9-73 record, had a 0.110 win rate. The Nuggets and Mavericks during the 1990’s follow with 11-71, a 0.134.
More? Remember the point differential we spoke about? Since the NBA-ABA merger, the worst during a seasons belongs to the 1992-1993 Mavs, who lost by an average of 15.2 points. The Bobcats of 2012 are just behind them, but the season isn’t over.
Taking a quick look at the roster, there’s just no one who can create points. Gerald Henderson leads the team in scoring with 15 points per game, and their best player is probably D.J. Augustin, with 13.6 points and 6.6 assists a night. Still, there’s no one to score in the paint, Corey Maggette and Reggie Williams have been terrible, both shooting under 40% from the field. Kemba Walker is doing OK in this bad environment for his rookie campaign (12.9 points per game), but he can’t do enough to get the team of the mud.
And the fingers point to Jordan, and the players no longer with the team because of his dealings. Gerald Wallace, probably the best player in the short history of the franchise, was traded to the Blazers for Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunnigham and Sean Marks. You can guess the Bobcats haven’t been exactly basking in the success of that trade.
Another trade, that of Stephen Jackson, was also hard to understand. The Bobcats got for Jackson, who averaged close to 20 points per game during his two seasons with the team, Maggette and scrap. That, like the Wallace trade, hasn’t turned out very well, short-term and apparently long term as well. Out of the eight first round draft picks the Bobcats have made since 2006, only three players – Walker, Augustin and Henderson, are still with the team.
No present, and a vague future on a team with plenty of cap space, but an organization with leadership and vision that seem to be changing at whim, is not a place top free agents want to play for. When even the trade making ability of the ownership and management seems to be lacking, and that’s being generous, there isn’t a lot to be optimistic about in Charlotte.