Almost every publication that covers sports in one way or the other previews that sport with a “best case, worst case”. Well, Roberto Gato is continuing that trend. With a twist.
The following is a player by player best case and worst case scenario for the 2012/13 season.
Best case – He becomes more Ty Lawson and less Allen Iverson (style-wise, not talent wise), and averages 16 points on an improved shooting percentage and seven assists per game.
Worst case – He tries to do too much offensively on a team that might need him do just that. Walker averages 15 points on a similar shooting percentage to his rookie year, and just four assists per game.
Best case – Biyombo becomes an above average team defender and scores efficiently under the rim. He’s already got the skills to win one-on-one matchups defensively, but he needs to learn to rotate with his teammates.
Worst case – Biyombo continues to play reactionary defense, jumps at every pump fake and gets into foul trouble almost every game. If this is the case, the ‘Cats might have wasted $3 million picking up his option.
Best case – MKG’s stellar defensive play turns into some unexpected offense. He averages 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals per game.
Worst case – He’s a defensive specialist right out of the gate and his offensive game is no where near NBA-ready. At eight points, five rebounds, and two steals a game, though, his impact is still felt throughout the box score in most games.
Best case – Taylor proves to be more than just a three-point shooter and earns his way to 18 or 20 minutes a game backing up Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and playing some shooting guard.
Worst case – He plays like a second round draft pick and the ‘Cats are left scrambling to find someone who can hold his own at small forward when MKG is on the bench.
Best case – Seven-feet-of-smooth holds his own on the glass, plays competently around the rim and nails a solid percentage of his mid-range jumpers to finish the season with 17 points and eight rebounds per game.
Worst case – Mullens is the same guy that scored nine points and grabbed just five rebounds per game last year.
Best case – The enigma finally sheds the “all potential, no game” mantra he’s earned in the NBA and uses the extra bulk he added in the offseason to become a fixture in Charlotte’s front court. 12 points, eight rebounds and a block per game would be a great final stat-line for him.
Wost case – He’s benched by the All Star game after another feud with another Bobcats head coach and below average play at the 4 and 5 spots.
Best case – Despite backing up a player he’d start over on most teams, Sessions plays like he did in the preseason and bolsters the ‘Cats back court averaging 15 points, seven assists and a steal per game.
Worst case – Making the move from LA to Charlotte wears on him and the former Myrtle Beach High School star’s Carolina homecoming turns sour fast. Nine points and five assists might be the worst Sessions could average this year barring injury.
Best case – The Bobcats find the Center they’ve been looking for since Tyson Chandler left. Haywood averages more than 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Worst case – The Bobcats are still looking for a center at year’s end, because Haywood averaged just five points and five rebounds a game.
Best case – Gordon proves everyone that said Charlotte won the trade with Detroit that sent him (and a future first round pick) to the Bobcats right. He’s an offensive spark off the bench that averages 17 points a game.
Worst case – Gordon proves those same people wrong and averages just 10 points a game off the bench.
Best case – Hendo’s magnificent mid-range jumper turns into a serviceable three-point shot and defenders no longer sag off him when he’s behind the arc. All that translates into a career year in which the former Dukie averages 20 points a game.
Worst case – Henderson still can’t shoot threes and his awesome mid-range ability leads to a year where he averages another 15 points per game.
Best case – MKG’s youthful energy reinvigorates a similarly young Williams, who scores 12 points per game backing Kidd-Gilchrist up at small forward.
Worst case – Williams gets lost in the shuffle behind MKG and Taylor and his scoring averages slips below the eight points per game he scored last year.
Best case – Somehow, behind Hendo and Gordon, Higgins finds more than 1o minutes per game and doubles his averages from last year to eight points, two assists and two rebounds per game.
Worst case – He doesn’t find those extra minutes and averages less than three points a game.
Best case – He becomes the cult-hero Edwardo Najera was last year to Charlotte fans coming off the bench in garbage time to hustle around and drain some threes.
Worst case – He doesn’t see the floor at all sitting behind Henderson, Gordon, Higgins, and Taylor.
Best case – The Bobcats trade him.
Worst case – The Bobcats don’t trade him.
As far as I see it, the best case scenario for the Bobcats as a team is a 27 win season in which they finish ahead of the Orlando Magic in wins and losses.
The worst the Bobcats should be able to do this year is 17 wins.
With such a young team, growing pains are to be expected, but there is talent on this team enough to keep it in most games. Charlotte will steal a few wins from teams that should blow the Bobcats out, but they’ll also lose games that they had big leads in and complete control over for three quarters.
Such is way of pro basketball in Charlotte.