December 04, 2013
Never a better time for Bobcats' Jeff Taylor to realize his considerable potential
Jeff Taylor has the most unrealized potential among current Charlotte Bobcats. That has to change.
Preferably over the next four to six weeks.
That’s how long Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be out after fracturing his left hand Tuesday in a road loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Taylor is the obvious first option to pick up Kidd-Gilchrist’s minutes. I hope he sees this as a great opportunity, because he needs to function that way.
Taylor was terrific from the start of summer league in Las Vegas through Eurobasket playing for Sweden through the Bobcats’ preseason. He way outperformed Kidd-Gilchrist in that span of time. I saw it, I wrote it.
Trouble is, once the games started counting, Taylor shrunk a little. He’s shooting just 38 percent from the field and averaging 7.9 points. He’s now gone eight games without reaching double figures.
Even with Kidd-Gilchrist out, Taylor never played in the second half against the Mavericks. Yeah, that was partially about a good matchup to play Anthony Tolliver, but if Taylor was playing well, that would have been moot.
Now it’s no longer optional that Taylor plays. He must play better and that’s certainly within his grasp.
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford often talks about Taylor’s gifts: His strength, quickness and intelligence (even athletes don’t just get into Vanderbilt) make him a natural defender. Beyond that he’s a 3-point shooter on a team lacking for 3s and maybe the best leaper on this roster (just ask Gerald Henderson, no slouch athletically).
Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t have Taylor’s wide skill set. But he’s intense in a way that is constructive. I asked Kidd-Gilchrist Saturday about playing LeBron James, and his answer was illuminating: That while he respected James, he doesn’t back down to anyone.
That’s how he played Sunday night in what was almost a big upset. He doesn’t back down.
Taylor isn’t always that assertive. He needs to impose himself, and there’s never been a better time than the next month to do so.
Everyone in that organization sees Taylor’s potential. It’s up to him now to turn talent into production.
Posted by Observer Sports on December 4, 2013 at 07:58 PM | Permalink
I totally agree.
Key sentences: "Taylor isn’t always that assertive [as MKG]. He needs to impose himself."
Yes. I hope he'll make the best of this opportunity.
Posted by: Sandy | Dec 4, 2013 8:57:23 PM
Well I have been calling for Taylor to start since preseason, but this is not how I wanted to see it go down. MKG will be back sooner than later and we will be much stronger as a result. Tighten up the laces and get out there!
Posted by: Go Cats! | Dec 4, 2013 10:10:26 PM
i would actually say that taylor doesn't have MKG's wide skill set.
the only thing taylor has that MKG doesn't is range. and taylor probably has him by a few inches in the hops department. but everything else? handles? passing? decision making? scoring at the rim and in transition? free throws? post ups? even those mid range jumpers that everyone swears MKG can't hit......
this is a proving ground opportunity for taylor. i want so badly for dude to own it. i fear so badly that we're about to watch ben gordon play 30 mpg for a month and a half. and the only way I will be able to do so without vomiting is by hoping that his trade value is going to land us evan turner some how.
lot of games coming up that we could go big and play mcroberts or zeller at the 3......josh smith, rudy gay, marvin williams, harrison barnes, mo harkless, ersan ilyasova, etc. much rather go that route and spread mike's minutes out between taylor and zeller because i know gordon isn't getting us turner even if we take back richardson and give them a pick.
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 4, 2013 11:44:55 PM
It was an unbelievable colossal mistake to draft MKG. The Bobcats should have drafted Andre Drummond. He had 24 points, 19 rebounds and 3 blocks against the Bucks last night. Drummond is a beast!! He is 20 yrs. old and is only getting getting better. Drummond will be an All-Star. MKG will never achieve that.
Posted by: Jon | Dec 5, 2013 12:48:29 AM
you cannot analyze drafts looking backwards. drummond didn't have any games like that in college. he had an even bigger game sunday night. drummond is an absolute stud. but MKG is too. MKG is the same age as drummond and yeah....he will be an all-star. not as quickly, but he will be. unless we ruin him the way we've ruined so many other blue chip prospects.
the difference is drummond's coach is building around him and clifford is building around jeff adrien, anthony tolliver, and ben gordon.
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 5, 2013 1:47:16 AM
You can't analyze drafts by looking backwards? How do you analyze them exactly? If players picked after MKG are studs, then you missed. You can spend all the time on development you want. Some players are better than others. Yes. All teams make mistakes, but teams like Golden State that get Curry, Thompson and Barnes, are better at drafting than the bobcats are.
Posted by: Todd | Dec 5, 2013 6:43:16 AM
I need to ge a job as a scout in Charloteans organization. That no accountability thing for missing players in the draft is some serious job security. Need to sign up for that.
Posted by: Jackson | Dec 5, 2013 8:25:14 AM
What difference does it make who starts at sf ? Clifford is playing games w the lineup . He plays stupid idiotic bench player lineups too long into the 4 th quarter . Look at close games w the Heat , Mavs , Rickets and at least 5 other games . Last game , Henderson was heating up in the 3 rd and had locked up Ellis . He sat deep into the 4 th . Kemba sat too long too . Sessions , Taylor and Girdon were horrific during this stint . The fact that Henderson played 25 minutes under the circumstances was a joke . And he should be averaging 38 or more if you want sg production . Clifford can't be this stupid even tho he's a rookie coach and not know his personell . Not playing Tolliver on Dirk was dumb too . Cliftord didnt adjust to what Bosh did either keeping McRoberts on him . He wants to lose . What else could it be ?
Posted by: Iron man | Dec 5, 2013 9:23:23 AM
Actually, a number of fans wrote postings, prior to the draft, AGAINST people they now wish we had. This was especially true in the case of Barnes and Drummond. People called Barnes a Tarheel and Drummond a lazy bum. Management sees what you guys write and probably take your hate sentiments into consideration when they are voiced often enough by enough people.
Posted by: Nativetarheel | Dec 5, 2013 9:27:54 AM
No you idiots what I mean is you can't pick out every stud that gets drafted later and complain about the pick. That happens every draft and is inevitable.
That hindsight ish is not accountability. Everybody knew going in drummond was either a stud or a dud. We weren't the only ones that passed on him. far worse was cleveland or sacramento.
I would take drummond over davis if picking who to build around today. but that doesn't change the information you have on hand BEFORE the draft.
and MKG has been a stud in his own right. what was it? only rookie to have 2 games of 25/12 not named lebron or jordan? the guy has been uber productive.i didn't like the pick on draft night because i though we could have traded down and gotten him for cheaper and added a pick. but the guy is a PLAYER. comparing him to drummond is nausiating but try comparing him to all the other 19-20 year olds in the history of the nba.
he and drummond BOTH are among the elite prospects.
But the recurring trend of failure in this organization has been failing to develop draft picks, not failure to draft elite talented prospects.
while other teams have successfully coached guys up and to their strenghts we managed to play felton at the 2, okafor at the 4, gave up on morrisson after 1.5 Years in which he had a normal rookie year followed by the acl tear followed by half a season of lLarry brown hating him, we had the Augustine/felt on then Augustine/walker fiascos, draft ajinca at age 18 And dump him after two years, sat Henderson for two years before giving him a shot, now we're playing Taylor, biz, mkg, and Zeller far too few minutes when they proved early on they were capable of winning some games through the growing pains.
The problem is not the players. Its the organization. If we had drafted drummond, we would have figured out a way ruin him too.
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 5, 2013 9:31:09 AM
i agree.....although I believe it was jefferson on bosh, at least for the last 2 of the 4 attempts (in which he made the first 3).
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 5, 2013 11:31:59 AM
Hindsight is 20/20, but you could not find anyone in the NBA who would not take Drummond over MKG. It is not even close.
Posted by: Mike T | Dec 5, 2013 2:48:51 PM
TODAY. of course. there's no debating that.
but that doesn't change the fact that on draft night.....MKG was going top 5 whether we took him or not. and drummond didn't. and if detroit hadn't taken him......portland wasn't going to. the guy is an absolute stud that NOBODY was sure about pre-draft. i think people thought he would be more roy hibbert than dwight howard and by that, i mean roy hibbert didn't get good until he was like 26. and most gms/franchises don't have 7 years to wait on a top 5 pick.
NOBODY knew drummond was going to be INSTANTLY the man. on the flip side......all the people passing on jared sullinger need to be fired. morey gets a pass for obvious reasons but he took ROYCE WHITE aaaaaaaaaand terrence jones over sullinger.
steadfastly....the league is won more off of what franchises get out of guys as opposed to what guys they get. way too many "stacked" teams that fail and underdog teams that overachieve and stars that come out of nowhere like in indiana or san antonio or houston.
we get less out of our guys than we should.
in NO WAY comparing the talent that drummond is to biyombo.......but biyombo is less than a year older and he's a top 10 shot blocker/rebounder if they play him. and his offense is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. we gave a 18 year old 2 years. that's completely unacceptable. if that's the mentality, draft a 22 year old like lillard or MCW or klay thompson.
you can't draft young guys and be impatient and you can't invest draft picks in guys you don't invest playing time in.
can't rebuild and be in win-now mode at the same time. that is and has been and looks like it will continue to be the problem for this franchise.
continual impatience with doing what it takes to build a successful franchise. it's exactly what's wrong with the knicks and nets. and they have the ability to sign marquee free agents because of location.
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 5, 2013 4:07:30 PM
"The problem is not the players. Its the organization."
Told you so. But you keep think a midget is going to wake up tomorrow as a 7-footer -- fools game.
"Hindsight is 20/20, but you could not find anyone in the NBA who would not take Drummond over MKG. It is not even close."
Mike T., I can name 4. Air Minimum, Yes Co. & Cho. 5 if you want to count charlottean ;)
Posted by: NASTAR99 | Dec 5, 2013 6:40:05 PM
You can always find a player like MKG in the 2nd round of the draft. A guy like Drummond is a rare talent and the Bobcats blew it big time by not selecting him.
Posted by: Jon | Dec 5, 2013 11:19:51 PM
For every Drummond there's a Kwame Brown. Sure Drummond looks like his career may equal or even surpass Anthony Davis, the top pick in his draft class. Same goes for Lillard. He's easily going to surpass the other six drafted above him, especially when you talk about the ability to dominate a game.
And who predicted this? Ah, no one. He looked like he had an NBA body, that's about it. This was one of those draft projects that panned out, making a ton of other Kwame picks look justifiable at the time, then regrettable later.
Should the 6 teams who passed on him without getting Davis or Lillard put their head in the sand? I think that depends on who you picked instead (Thomas Robinson, you bet), but MKG would arguably get picked 4th in that draft if re-held today.
That's not bad at all. Especially since having a lockdown defender at the 3 spot looks increasingly important in the East for the next ten years the way Paul George is evolving.
Posted by: J. Spinazzola | Dec 6, 2013 2:14:16 AM
And don't give me the Barnes over MKG argument. For one thing, the same folks who like him now were screaming not another UNC guy at the time. Two, if Barnes is an upgrade in terms of a team's chances to win, then why did the Warriors pick up Igoudala who is more in the MKG mold?
Posted by: J. Spinazzola | Dec 6, 2013 2:20:18 AM
Drummond #2 there.
Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho, take note pikers.
Posted by: NASTAR99 | Dec 6, 2013 8:15:36 AM
show me all of the 2nd round picks like MKG.
please. show me all of the players in the league like MKG......the most comparable players are batum, deng, rudy gay, pippen, johnson, josh smith, etc.
none of those guys were 2nd round picks. you guys are delusional if you don't think MKG is a top 5 talent.
there is NO DOUBT drummond is the superior talent and you ALWAYS go size first. but nobody was sure about drummond coming out of uconn. NOBODY was. even detroit wasn't sure. if you were drafting over again....as i said.....a lot of teams would take drummond over davis. and that says a lot.
but you cannot do this hindsight re drafting BS. it has everything to do with how the organization develops a guy. mike has flashed insane levels of talent for the 5th youngest player in the league.
you re do that draft RIGHT NOW and MKG is still probably a top 5 pick. it's going to be davis-drummond up top and then there's going to be lillard-beal-mkg-barnes as the next bunch.
LOOK AT THAT DRAFT AGAIN. did we get the best player at 2? no. i said that on draft night. did we get an elite talent? yes. we got a guy that is insanely good, insanely young and fits with the other guys we have here.
anyone that remembers.....i was wanted to trade back and take barnes. but i'm completely satisfied with MKG.
there is always going to be a stud that gets drafted AFTER somebody. doesn't make the guy drafted higher any worse than he is.
nastar your link shows MKG at 3. so we definitely reached for him didn't we?
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 6, 2013 11:00:15 AM
Yeah, down. Never a good idea.
Makes sense given our Midget Management....
Posted by: NASTAR99 | Dec 6, 2013 12:34:01 PM
reaching all the way from 3 to draft him 2?
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 6, 2013 12:59:20 PM
Dropping like a rock in the Hollinger rankings....
Posted by: NASTAR99 | Dec 6, 2013 1:12:56 PM
6th best fg% among 3's.....8th best rebounds per game, 8th in rebound %.....from the 5th youngest player in the game.
what a reach.
let's not forget OKC was offering harden for 2 or for 3........and they weren't trying to get drummond OR mkg. different teams have different perceived needs. if we were committed to developing biz (which we should be, he's played very well this year) and you were looking at a toss up between prospects, you would obviously go with a different position.
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 6, 2013 1:21:26 PM
he's not really falling.....there are more outliers entering the list above him. but you wouldn't understand stats so i'm not going to bother to try and explain how hollinger rankings ARE affected by minutes played and also by usage.
but yeah.....mike beasley anybody? 10.8 last year but 22.2 career high this year. has everything to do with him right?
how is memphis doing since hollinger took over there? from contender to mediocre.
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 6, 2013 2:01:20 PM
It would be nice to see us try for Asik.
Posted by: Downtown Sports | Dec 6, 2013 11:19:28 PM
would it? I like asik and everything but dude is 27 and getting 8 million a year this and next cap figure but owed 15 next year in actual compensation.
and we already have biz who does exactly what asik does and more. difference is asik plays on better teams and he's a lot older.
bill simmons also raised the "quitter" point the other day. do you want the guy that quit on his team because he wasn't starting anymore? so he's going to want to come here and play behind jefferson?
Posted by: charlottean | Dec 8, 2013 11:18:56 PM
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