The Bobcats were in total charge of their own fate this season. Were. Now back in the 10th spot in the East, 2 out of playoff contention, it is clear that the four-game losing streak by Charlotte has cost the squad any hope of catching the final spot. Sure, they’re not 17-61, but with a week left in the regular season and no postseason hopes, they might as well be.
Unfortunately, all that’s left is to look forward to next season in anticipation. The East is incredibly tough. You have Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Miami, up-and-comers like New York, and above-the-fray mainstays like Atlanta. And then you have teams like Charlotte, vying for the dust-laden spots behind the fast lane.
Players like Brown, Jackson, Diaw and Thomas keep the Bobcats competitive, but they do not keep the Bobcats winning. Their lack of scoring potency, lack of defensive prowess and seeming lack of will-power could be attributed to Silas but is more likely the result of deflated confidence levels.
This needs to change, and this requires actually drafting a star player. Charlotte will be holding down the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft (assuming). While players Derrick Williams, Kyrie Irving, Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones are too far out of reach, a few performing forwards—defense-playing forwards, more importantly—may fall down to Charlotte and give them some leverage. Of course, the NBA may suffer the NFL’s fate with a lockout due to union-vs.-ownership beef.
Most are still focusing on how Charlotte can grab some talent, and one young, enthusiastic and talented player that should be available is Kawhi Leonard out of San Diego St. A sophomore SF, Leonard is like a bigger, stronger RIP Hamilton that can actually D up. If Charlotte is ready to admit Brown might need to stay on the bench longer than on the floor going forward, another big man that would help to plug gaps, Lithuania’s Jonas Vlanciunas, a PF/C, may help that along.
These are only two of the potential dozens Charlotte will be looking at, but one thing is clear: they need some better players on that squad to compete in the East. If they can’t make that happen, they’re going to join the ranks of Cleveland.