The Bobcats: The Road to Nowhere

The Numbers

  •  Average Seed
    12
  • 📉 Pessimist
    20.7 wins
  •  Realist
    29.3 wins
  • 📈 Optimist
    37.9 wins
 First Seed
 
0.0%
⋆ Division
 
0.1%
 Top 4
 
1.8%
👍 Over (27.5)
ğŸ‘Ž Under (27.5)
ğŸŽ€ Playoffs
 
11.5%

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Lewis Carroll

The Brief

Since Jordan bought into the Bobcats, they've fought their way to the bottom of the league. Last season they "only" finished with the second worst record in the league. Based on their offseason, they stand poised to "only" be the second worst team in the east. At this rate, the Bobcats will be a playoff team in another decade. Eighth seed, here we come!

The Story

Apparently, Michael Jordan decided that if he was going to be a bad owner he was damn well going to be the Michael Jordan of bad owners. A really tall order when faced with such luminaries as James Dolan, the Maloofs and Donald Sterling. Never fear though, his Airness is wearing his Hanes ™, and is up to the task.

Last Year

  •  Actual Wins: 21
  •  Expected Wins: 16.3
  • ⚅ Lucky Wins: 4.7

 

Player Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Kemba Walker 2859 23 .098 5.8
Bismack Biyombo 2186 21 .062 2.8
Gerald Henderson 2133 26 .047 2.1
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 2025 20 .102 4.3
Ramon Sessions 1652 27 .060 2.1
Ben Gordon 1560 30 -.086 -2.8
Jeff Taylor 1507 24 .049 1.6
Byron Mullens  1428 24 -.047 -1.4
Brendan Haywood 1162 34 .003 .1
Josh McRoberts 802 26 .134 2.2
Jeff Adrien 713 28 .086 1.3
Hakim Warrick 482 31 -.086 -.9
Reggie Williams  380 27 .086 .7
Tyrus Thomas 360 26 -.149 -1.1
Jannero Pargo 292 34 -.005 -.28
DeSagana Diop  226 31 .006 .03
Cory Higgins 32 24 -.176 -.1
Matt Carroll  6 32 .017 0

 Indicates that the player is no longer with the team.

  • 14.8 total Wins Produced
  •  4 players leaving
    (2040 minutes, -.7 wins)

Last season, the Bobcats had two players that were above average: Josh McRoberts and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Barely. The moves the Bobcats made were remarkably bad. They bailed Joe Dumars and Detroit out of Ben Gordon's terrible contract. They waived Borris Diaw, which allowed Popp to revive his career on the Spurs. MKG was a good draft pick, but it's hard to rest your entire team on the performance of one rookie. Looking at the Bobcats sub-par roster makes it hard to find any signs of hope. 

This Year

  •  Projected Wins: 29.3
  •  Conference Rank: 14
  • % Playoffs: 11.5
Player Position Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Kemba Walker 1.1 2835 23 .088 5.2
Al Jefferson  4.9 2747 29 .080 4.6
Gerald Henderson 2.4 2426 26 .057 2.9
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 3.3 2012 20 .127 5.3
Cody Zeller  4.0 1935 21 .038 1.5
Bismack Biyombo 4.8 1555 21 .080 2.6
Ramon Sessions 1.4 1363 27 .113 3.2
Ben Gordon 1.9 1188 30 -.026 -.6
Josh McRoberts 4.2 972 26 .148 3.0
Jeffery Taylor  2.0 788 24 .055 .9
Anthony Tolliver  3.7 665 28 .077 1.1
Jannero Pargo 1.1 519 34 -.028 -.3
Jeff Adrien 4.2 391 28 .076 .6
Brendan Haywood 5.0 277 34 .063 .4

 

 Indicates that the player is new to the team.

  • 📅 26.0 WP last year
    by these players
  • 🔀 9.3 WP (roster changes)
  • ⏲ 4.6 WP (age/experience)

The Bobcats have seemingly built a plan around tanking. Like much of the internet, they haven't gotten the memo that this strategy is poor. It's not just that they wasted a top four pick on Cody Zeller; to make up for this mistake, they went out and grabbed Al Jefferson, who despite scoring lots of points, is not a very effective center. What does it say about him that we think his former team will improve without him? Given his age and history, we expect Big Al to bring his game down to the level of the Bobcats. Kidd-Gilchrist should improve, Sessions and McRoberts may bounce back, and we like Kemba -- just not as your lead guard.

And in the end, the Bobcats will still be hoping the lottery balls bounce their way.

Projected playoff lineup: MJ was going to fill this out but decided golfing was a better use of his time.

The Wrap

A mere four seasons ago the Bobcats celebrated their first playoffs. Since then, Jordan has systematically dismantled the team. It's impossible to improve if your team keeps signing bad players, and the Bobcats stand poised to keep this tradition going. The question will be if Jordan has the gall to bring this up in the next lockout.

My model has the cats at 29 wins. The Vegas over/under is at 27.5. In general, this is a really bad sign. The Bobcats do have the fifth youngest projected roster in the league and some hope for improvement, but they have a front office and ownership group that have shown themselves to be incapable of identifying talent. If this team ever improves it'll be despite itself.

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