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Bobcats GM Higgins Narrows Coaching Search Down to “Somebody Who Wants to Win” (Part 1 of Blogcat’s Season Recap)

Last week, the Bobcats decided not to bring back Coach Paul Silas for the 2012-2013 season.  Though it should be noted that they’re keeping him on as a consultant, which—given this team—is arguably a crueler thing to do than simply firing him.  Anyway, the search is now on for his replacement.  Besides the qualities mentioned in the headline, GM Rod Higgins told the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell that the Bobcats are looking for someone who views the job as an “opportunity” and stresses that he doesn’t necessarily have to be an ex-NBA coach.  Bonnell somehow found this gibberish insightful enough to produce several articles’ worth of analysis, including one with an elaborate 3-legged stool metaphor.  Poor Rick.

And speaking of “stools,” let’s talk about last season.  Now that we’re a week removed from harmful exposure to the carcinogenic 2012 Bobcats, yet still comfortably far off from the lottery, it’s time to reflect on what has happened...before the slowly-but-steadily increasing anxiety at the thought of losing the lottery completely devours my brain like Kahn’s ear worms in Star Trek 2.  Like my midseason recap/toxicology report, I’m going to go through each player in descending order of playing time (which also means I’ll be going through each player in descending order of my mental sanity).  We’ll see how far I can get, but chances are we’ll have to break this column up into a few parts; otherwise I’ll just collapse to the floor and start laughing hysterically like Tom Hanks in The Money Pit.  Here we go...

Coach Paul Silas – Okay, he technically didn’t play, but that’s okay, because he often technically didn’t coach either.  Still, a few words are in order for our dearly departed coach.  In his defense, he had a lineup that was intentionally terrible (thanks to management), and he lost the 6th most man-games to injury (side note: hey, look at that, we were among the league leaders in something!).  But in his “offense” (?), what’s Paul Silas known for?  Okay, other then looking more confused on the sidelines than Katie Couric after a Sarah Palin response?  He’s known for rebounding and toughness.  So at the very least, he should have instilled those characteristics in his team.  And in this endeavor he completely failed; the Bobcats were 28th in overall rebounding rate and allowed the most shots at the rim of any team.  The frontcourt couldn’t have been less intimidating if they had decided to start every game off with a reenactment of the video for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).”  So for this reason alone, I have no problem with letting Silas go.  Also, his contract was up.  Also, with a potential superstar rookie coming on board and some big name coaches available, it’s probably better to start fresh...Oh yeah, and also, this was the worst team of all time.

Gerald Henderson (1,831 total minutes played) –  Henderson has improved every year he’s been in the league, and this season he averaged 46% shooting from the field for 15 PPG and a PER of 14.  At this rate, he’ll be a solid bet to make the All-Star Game in 2023.  He’s also one of just two guys from the 2012 roster with a positive 2-year adjusted +/- (ready to get real depressed? The other one is Boris Diaw).  On the other hand, it’s 2.58.  To put this into context, Dwyane Wade’s is 7.18.  To put this into further context, Landry Fields’ is 3.38.  This is our best player.  And it’s down hill from here...

Kemba Walker (1,792) –  Walker has vowed repeatedly to work on his game this summer.  I hope that work includes building a flux capacitor so that he can go back in time and figure out how to shoot 47% from the field, like he did as a freshman at UConn.  This is because Walker shot a horrifying 37% from the field last year.  His true shooting percentage (TS%), a more comprehensive measurement that accounts for free-throws and 3-pointers, was 46%, which was...(looking, looking, hold on, I have to click to the second page, looking...ah, here it is)...55th among point guards.  Not overall, mind you, just among point guards.  55.  Unless you’re talking about a Sammy Hagar song, “55” is a terrible number.  So yes, that’s definitely a problem to work on.  His other problems include (these are all according to ESPN’s John Hollinger) his 28th ranking in estimated wins added (just among point guards), his 50th ranking in assist rate (just among...you get the picture), and his 90th ranking in height rate (I just made this up, because adding “rate” sounds more sophisticated).  So long story short, I hope he does work on his game this summer, starting with everywhere.

Good lord, I’m only two players in and I’m already too exhausted and distraught to continue. Once I can muster the courage, I’ll be back to go through the rest of the lineup.  Also, I see that my floor warden is banging on my cell and telling me it’s time for my one hour of exercise.  Until next week...