CHICAGO, November 20, 2012 — As new coaches often say, a winning atmosphere is important in a locker room. If a team starts losing too much, it might expect losses, giving them yet another disadvantage in close games.
So what’s a team to do? They could look for veterans with championship experience, but those players are often either past their prime or still playing on contending teams. There’s no chance for a team like the Charlotte Bobcats to pry them away.
So that leaves a losing team to the draft when it comes to adding winners, and that’s just what the Bobcats have done.
In the 2011 draft, they chose Kemba Walker with the ninth overall pick, a controversial choice to many. Not many people were moaning about that pick, however, when he dropped the game-winner on the Timberwolves this past week.
In the 2012 draft, with the second overall pick, they took Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, one of its hardest-working players, in the game, and one who looks similar to LeBron on his good nights.
What do these two players have in common? They were stars on national title-winning teams the year before in college. Kemba was the go-to man for UConn, never getting tired as his team won the Big East Tournament and the National Title without stopping for a breath in between. MKG was an absolute nightmare for anyone playing the dominant Kentucky team of last season with an even better motor and incredible athleticism.
So why are people surprised that this team has a good record? They drafted wisely the past few years, added winners and spent the preseason and summer league playing with each other to build chemistry while other teams opted to rest their starters and play third-stringers.
The common knock against the Bobcats so far is that they haven’t beaten a good team, but look again. The Pacers had a lead in the playoffs against the world champion Heat last year and the Timberwolves were 5-2 before they fell to the Bobcats, regardless of whether or not Love and Rubio were able to play.
The Bobcats are playing their schedule and playing well. They’ve even shown the ability to adapt and improve (skills rare in the Bobcats camp before this year) by beating the Dallas Mavericks one week after they demolished Charlotte.
Obviously, for a new team to break into the playoff picture, someone else will have to leave, but the East is full of questionable rosters that were able to make the playoffs last year. Someone is going to have to replace the Magic, and the Hawks haven’t been lighting the world on fire this year either. The meteoric Bobcats could fill either slot, and if they continue to improve and play at this high level, Kemba, MKG and Co. could find themselves in the 2013 postseason.
Who says Michael Jordan gave up on this team?
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.