Yesterday I was fully prepared to come here and write an essay of epic length on why the Bobcats should bench the starters and start looking toward next year. Let me clarify that so I don’t get roped into the “tanking” crowd. I wasn’t going to come here and propose that the team should fold and just start taking every inbound pass and punting it towards their own goal or anything. I was just going to merely suggest that you bench or sparingly play the “keepers”. Guys like Jack who is battling injury, Tyrus whom we have locked up for a quite awhile, and Sean Livingston who is injured and in my opinion a keeper. Throw Henderson out as your main guy, play Garrett Temple, play Dante Cunningham and DJ White see what they got for the rest of the year. More so a recon mission for next season rather than blatantly trying to lose to gain spots in the draft. But that whole idea came to a complete and sudden stop last night as the Bobcats clawed their way to a late victory keeping the streak alive at 4 games straight.
Now, the Bobcats have but one option. Full steam ahead. It’s the best option anyway, as no one wants to see a scout team being sacrificed to the Draft Gods in order to increase lottery odds. But now, there just really isn’t a way to justify any kind of draft hijinks. The Bobcats, to borrow a phrase from good ol’ John Fox, are where they are. Charlotte currently sit as the 11th worst team in the league and even if they lost the next 8 games while everyone else continued winning, they could only get to 7th or 8th worst team. My point being, there is no point in worrying about the Bobcats draft status at this stage. Even if we continue to win games this season and still miss the playoffs we will be in the 8th-14th position in the draft. There isn’t a huge difference in 8th-14th in any draft but especially in this fairly weak, if not evenly distributed draft class. Couple that with the Bobcats owning the Hornets 1st rounder this year and our possible lottery position means even less as we have some flexibility with trades.
Some of you are reading this and thinking, well of freaking course striving to win is the best option for Charlotte, but there is a sentiment out there for throwing in the towel. Around the Bobcats blog-o-sphere, I keep hearing things about a first round blow out series and that getting to the playoffs is a waste if you can’t win in the playoffs. This is true, but with our inability to get a difference making draft slot regardless of the next 8 games and the monetary surge a playoff appearance will provide, we have reason enough to quit worrying about anything but winning. It’s a weak draft with little difference between players 1-14 and even if we found a guy we just had to have, I imagine that with 2 first rounders we could get up to at least the 4-5th spot if need be. So why not go for it. Damn the torpedoes, hustle, play hurt do whatever it takes to get in to the playoffs, because from there who the hell knows.