« Fat Bald Guy Rule | Main | Brokeback Again »

Bobcats

A New York Times article contends that the Charlotte Bobcats have a much brighter future than their fellow cellar-dwellers in NYC:

The Bobcats have the reigning rookie of the year (Emeka Okafor), a promising rookie point guard (Raymond Felton) and a dynamic swingman (Gerald Wallace), none of them older than 23. The Knicks have two former All-Stars (Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury), both 29, who play the same position and have been traded a total of seven times.

The Bobcats, in their second year of existence, are following a methodical plan to build a contender. The Knicks impatiently bounce from one splashy trade to the next while trying to avoid the worst record in the franchise's 60-year history.

That seems right, but I worry about this:
The Bobcats figured to be in the 30-victory range this season before injuries struck. Okafor, who averaged 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds as a rookie, has been out since mid-December because of an ankle injury. The rookie forward Sean May has also been out for the same span. Wallace, the Bobcats' most versatile scorer, has missed 23 games. Kareem Rush, the starting off guard, has missed 18 games.

In all, Bobcat players have missed 199 games to injury, the second most in the league.

The thing about injuries is that they're part of the game and some players seem distinctly more injury-prone than others. Consider Denver, about which you could definitely say the team would be a lot better if their guys were healthy. The problem is that they've got a couple of guys -- Martin and Camby -- who can't stay healthy consistently. Utah seems to be in a similar situation with Boozer and Kirilenko. When you see a lot of injuries to your promising young core, you need to worry that you might have assembled a promising young core of injury-prone players. The cap space, of course, is very nice but is there a top-tier player who's going to want to go play for Charlotte? In the 2007 offseason, the bitchin' 2003 draft class will all be restricted free agents, so there's definitely some hope. . . .

March 11, 2006 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345160fd69e200d8345d3f9e69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bobcats:

» Delphi says no extended GM relief on parts prices from relief that the
Corp. said on Monday it could not reach a deal with General Motors Corp. to extend parts pricing [Read More]

Tracked on May 6, 2006 11:33:43 AM

Comments

"A New York Times article contends that the Charlotte Bobcats have a much brighter future than their fellow cellar-dwellers in NYC"

If you could buy futures in the two teams' records a couple of years out, the Knicks would be a far, far better bet than the Bobcats.

The Bobcats are young, but are not that talented with the exception of Okefor, whose ceiling is quite low in any case.

If you want young and talented, look to Atlanta or Orlando, not Charlotte.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 11, 2006 12:26:22 PM

Is there a Zeke premium on those futures, Petey?

Posted by: Pooh | Mar 11, 2006 1:21:51 PM

Why would the Knicks be a better bet? They're neither young nor talented. You'd have to assume that they're going to dump and replace at least most of the team, which is a fair assumption, given Isiah, but I don't see how it gives them a better chance to improve than Charlotte.

Posted by: Alexander "Benjamins" Hamilton | Mar 11, 2006 7:21:01 PM

"Why would the Knicks be a better bet? They're neither young nor talented."

Money.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 11, 2006 7:37:27 PM

Also, I'm not crazy about the thought process that drafted May, or even Felton. Those are picks that endear you to the community, not moves that maximize your chances of winning.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Mar 11, 2006 8:33:03 PM

And Gerald Wallace a "dynamic swingman?" At best a moderately impoverished man's Ruben Patterson.

No, they're both screwed. I'd still take the Bobcats with blackjack-style insurance on Zeke getting fired before the end of next season...

Posted by: Pooh | Mar 11, 2006 10:11:48 PM

To put it differently, the Mavs and Knicks are playing an entirely different game than the other 28 franchises. Deals that would seem really bad for the other 28 can make perfect sense for Cuban and Dolan.

In the algebra of the 28 teams, signing Keith Van Horn for too much money to be your 8th man is insane. But in the trigonometry of the Mavs and Knicks, it's a no-brainer.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 12, 2006 11:42:27 AM

And Gerald Wallace a "dynamic swingman?" At best a moderately impoverished man's Ruben Patterson.

That seems unfair. Wallace is a good perimeter stopper, which would be useful on any team, and a legitimate scoring threat to boot. Insofar as he's the best player on your team, you've got a problem, but that can be said of a lot of very good basketball players. This all really hinges on whether or not the "sign superstar free agent in 2007" plan pans out. I have my doubts about the cogency of this plan (see above) but that and whoever the wind up picking in this year's draft will determine the shape of things to come.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Mar 12, 2006 11:46:56 AM

To put it differently, the Mavs and Knicks are playing an entirely different game than the other 28 franchises.

The Mavs are playing it much, much better than the Knicks, though. I'll start believing you that the Knicks have a master plan when it stops looking to me and everybody else in the known universe like they're making the boneheadedest moves possible, as generated by some sort of Frinkish Boneheadenator 3000.

Posted by: Alexander "Benjamins" Hamilton | Mar 12, 2006 4:40:15 PM

SCMT--obviously you're right about the May draft but it means his injury is all the less painful. His inclusion in the list of debilitating Bobcat injuries seems like the gesture of someone who knows more about journalism than ball.

Petey--definitely right, of course, about Dolan and Cuban; as far as these guys are concerned, the NBA might as well be the MLB.

Posted by: DJ Ninja | Mar 13, 2006 10:50:11 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.