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How Good Can the Bobcats be Next Season?

(L to R) Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, and Bismack Biyombo of the Charlotte BobcatsIt may seem a little strange, but the basketball season is not that far away folks. Training camp is right around the corner (early October I believe). First up for our Bobcats in the preseason will be the Washington Wizards. We open the regular season at home against the Indiana Pacers on November 2.

That’s not a whole lot of time.

Now the NFL has been kind enough to play some games of their own leading up to the beginning of the season to keep us occupied (thanks guys!) so before you know it will be time for tip-off!

Personally, I can’t wait for that first game to start for a couple different reasons. First and foremost so we can officially put that dreadful 2011-12 season behind us for good. I guess technically it already is, but I think we will not really be able to put it out of sight and completely out of mind until the new Charlotte Bobcats step on the court for the first time.

We’ve got reason to be a little excited this year folks. It would be pretty difficult for the team to match last season’s record so we can only get better. Like you I’m not looking to except a slew of 10 point losses over the 20 point ones, but I don’t think we are going to be that bad this year.

I think we can surprise some folks.

As awesome as His Airness, owner Michael Jordan, is one of the best things he could have done for the team was make it publicly known that he was backing away from the operations end of things and was just going to let general manager Rich Cho do his job.

An article from ESPN the Magazine talked about Jordan backing off to work on redeveloping the image of the franchise while Cho takes care of the team—which he better do. Jordan told him to build around young players and it looks like the team has done a great job of just that.

The latest edition to the team, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is going to be exciting to watch. The youngster is well-known for his heart and work ethic, but unlike some past Bobcat picks (yes, you Mr. Morrison) they complement his talent instead of make up for it.

I am a big fan of B-Mack, Bismack Biyombo. Yes, the man is still pretty raw, but I love a guy that wants to play in the NBA so bad that he dishes out a million of his own money so he can do it. Like everyone last season he had some good moments along with some not so good moments. I chalk that up to a kid that needed good coaching in order to improve not getting it. He’ll be much better and more consistent this season.

Living in Indianapolis I had little choice but to watch the Butler-UConn game that starred Kemba Walker a couple of years ago. I am fully aware that the college game is a different animal from the pro game, but like B-Mack I think we’ll see a much better season out of Walker thanks to better coaching (don’t let me down Dunlap; I’m putting some faith in you here!).

Gerald Henderson could be including as one of the youngsters the team is building around (2009 first rounder). Mullens is 2009 first rounder as well, but I’m not so sure he’s part of the building project or just a place holder.

Surrounding these guys is a good—not great—group of veteran players. Brendan Haywood should be able to help develop B-Mack. Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon give the team a pair of vets to play the guards. Tyrus Thomas will likely split time with Mullens.

I look at the group that we have and I can’t help but think we could actually be good this year. I’m not going to say we are playoff caliber yet, but I think we’ll make some teams work for it much more than we did last season.

Hey—who knows; if the guys gel early and take well to Mike Dunlap’s system the possibilities are endless…