Everyone knows the Charlotte Bobcats haven’t been the most offensively gifted NBA team during their brief history. In fact, even when Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw and Raymond Felton were around, this was a defensive-minded team that rarely lit it up on the offensive end.
However, if Charlotte plays their cards right and uses the right people, that could slowly change.
They already made a strong effort to get better on that end of the court. They brought in Ramon Sessions to rotate with Kemba Walker. Both guys can shoot and score the ball, and if Walker can’t distribute, we know Sessions can.
The future could also be bright with big man Byron Mullens, who has a nice jumper and mid-range game. Even star rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has some nice potential on the offensive end – although we may have to wait a while to see it really pay off.
But in the here and now, a good amount of the team’s offense is likely to come from the shooting guard position. Gerald Henderson was the starter last year and made a leap in his progression as a player. With a full off-season to further develop, there’s a decent chance he has a better all-around game, as well as a more reliable outside shot.
Bobcats like that word chance. That, or they cringe at the sound of it.
How about a guarantee?
Call me crazy, but veteran scoring combo guard Ben Gordon just might be the closest thing this team has to a lock when it comes to putting up points consistently. And call me crazier – but I think he’d be the better answer as the team’s starting shooting guard.
He is reportedly very much in the running to supplant Henderson as the top SG, and I think it’d be the good move. Even at 29, he offers much better outside shooting, better passing, court vision, and clutch ability. That’s no knock on Henderson, who is visibly better now than when he was a rookie, but it is what it is.
Gordon has seen his playing time and role taper off over the past three years in Detroit, and should actually have fresh legs and a chip on his shoulder.
The days of him averaging 18-20 points per game aren’t quite as far away as you’d think, and despite less than ideal size and some defensive issues, I think he could be a huge part of the solution on the offensive end.
So far in the 2012-13 preseason, I have liked what I’ve seen out of Henderson, but I haven’t been blown away. His averages of 11 points and just under three boars and three assists per game aren’t bad, but his outside shot is still abysmal and his overall game simply hasn’t taken that huge leap many had been hoping for.
Gordon, on the other hand, has virtually been lights out, averaging over 16 points per game, while chipping in two boards and 1.6 dimes per contest.
Obviously he’s a pure scorer and doesn’t help out in a ton of other areas, but he and Henderson are similar in that regard, and Gordon clearly offers more explosive ability on offense.
The most encouraging part? Those 16 points per game are coming off of well under 30 minutes per game. In fact, he’s checked onto the court for more than 28 minutes just twice all preseason, yet has topped 15 points in four of five contests.
I’ve seen enough. I watched Henderson last year, and I’ve seen Gordon in the preseason and what he’s done throughout his career.
It’s time to give the veteran a chance to get back to the player he used to be. He’s a volume scorer that simply needs shots to get points. If Charlotte gives him the green light, they just might like what they see.