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October 08, 2012

Charlotte Bobcats taking care not to coach instincts out of rookie Kidd-Gilchrist

                The most interesting thing I heard post-game, after the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Washington Wizards Sunday, was this from coach Mike Dunlap on rookie forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist:

                “With Michael, our biggest job is to stay out of his way,’’ Dunlap said, adding you could hinder MKG’s instincts by “giving him a thousand plays.’’

                If you saw Kidd-Gilchrist Sunday, or most of his single college season at Kentucky, you knew what Dunlap meant. Kidd-Gilchrist, at his best, is a box score-filler. He won’t just be a scorer. He’ll be a productive rebounder, both offensively and defensively, and he’ll turn defense into offense with his steals.

                He made a steal in the open court, reaching around Wizards forward Trevor Ariza, punching the ball out of Ariza’s arms, and scooping it in for a transition dunk. That was more dynamic than any defensive play the Bobcats made last season. (Yes, I know – faint praise – but still.)

                Kidd-Gilchrist can dribble and pass with more proficiency than I saw him demonstrate in college. During Las Vegas summer league Dunlap told Kidd-Gilchrist to be a point-forward, as in don’t be reluctant to bring the ball up-court, or to initiate the offense off the dribble. He’s so quick, and a good enough driver, that opponents will be forced to foul him (illustrated by his six free throws in 27 minutes Sunday.)

                Really the only concern with Kidd-Gilchrist is his jump shot, and the coaches are already working to fix the hitch and the side spin. That’s going to take time to resolve.

                Preseason – particularly this one, with a new coaching staff and five new rotation players – is about experimentation. One of the intriguing things Dunlap explored Sunday was a small lineup, with Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon and Gerald Henderson all in the game. In that scenario, Kidd-Gilchrist would move from small forward to power forward.

                That’s a lot to ask from a 6-7 rookie, but Dunlap thinks it’s worth a try. Based on the versatility Kidd-Gilchrist has already shown, I think he’s up for it.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 8, 2012 at 10:59 AM | Permalink


Although a weak Wizards team the Cats looked the best I have seen since 2011.We actually scored and looked to play defense very well. The team will be exciting to watch win or lose. Yes 30 wins would be a major victory honestly but I see serious improvement already.
GH can be an all-star. I mean he really can.
Mullens looked good and may be a a poor man's Dirk (with a ton of work and luck). If he could go inside also to keep them honest watchout.
Diop!!! I mean he stunk but wow he lost a ton of weight and actually ran the court!!! Folks that may be the biggest miracle of the year
MKG- looked awesome on D. he can drive and rebound. If he could ever shoot like Hendo watchout. And yes his shot is crazy funky in person.
Trades - Sessions and Gordon and Haywood were in it and focused and solid. Sessions may be amazing and a cheap find if some things fall

Middle Road:
Kemba- sorry he was OK . Not good or bad just OK with offense flow. Sessions penetrates way better
Biz - I love him thus why he falls here is only reason. He is caught out of position doubling alot but boy he has energy and no offense at all.

TT was trying and launching but caught no love and struggled on D massively.
Taylor - quick in and out and couldn't tell a thing

Oh by the way beal is the real deal. Wow his stroke and shot and defense also. I think in 5 years folks may talk more about or as much about him as anyone from this draft class. he looked really good even though his stats werent great. With Wall in backcourt with him should be a darn good team

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Oct 8, 2012 12:40:38 PM

Oh and Dunlap was energized and up and talking and clearly has followership!!
Folks this is a changed team!! No not a championship team but a fun team to watch.

Think of it as when you saw "Big Fat Greek Wedding". Low expectations and then pleasantly surprised. Not an oscar but much better than you thought.

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Oct 8, 2012 12:44:59 PM

Never thought I'd hear myself ever say that I'd be more interested in watching MKG and the Bobcats than Cam Newton and the Panthers.

Posted by: Smitty | Oct 8, 2012 1:05:50 PM

big fat greek wedding? really. really?!
could have gone with a million low budget movies and you go with that one.

I just hope the acquisition of haywood helps not hurts biz' development. biz' success is far more important to the franchise even if it costs us 5 games a year this year and next. here's to hoping they ride mullens and hendo on offense this year. only thing scary is that both are restricted free agents who need extensions BEFORE they start playing like studs.

oh and of course diop lost weight (finally). he's in a contract year. lose a little weight now will get him another million next year to retire with. I understand a young center of his size and backround to be as horrible as he is. but he's like 30 now. no excuse. it's ridiculous. how can you be a pro for that long and not draw rim on free throws and not have a legit post move. WTF has he been doing all these years? a blind man could learn how to make free throws in that time span.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 8, 2012 3:28:57 PM

Diop looked horrible. No surprise. MKG is going to be special. Hen do looked like he is ready to really break out this year. Was the best offensive player on either team.

Posted by: Skip | Oct 8, 2012 7:26:10 PM

oh and to all those who think +/- is an effective metric.....fellow charlottean and 80's baby ant morrow dropped this gem of a stat line in his atlanta debut:

0 points, 1 assist, no rebounds, steals or blocks, 3 turnovers 0 for 5 from the field in 21 minutes.......+12 on the +/-.

I hate when people reference +/- because the best player on a bad team gets made out to look bad and the worst player on a great team looks great. and that can apply to 1st team/ 2nd team/ stretches of play or whatever. 6th men are usually players good enough to start who come off the bench and lead the 2nd team. james harden's +/- would probably look a little better if he started against the bobcats rather than coming into the game up 30 with the foot off the gas.

horrible horrible horrible stat. works in turnovers. works in free throw attempts and makes. does not work in that vague of a measure of team score based on individual timing.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 8, 2012 11:54:33 PM

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