Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have got all the love for Charlotte’s 5-4 start this year, but, believe it or not, there are other players contributing on this team.
Despite how much I rag on him, Byron Mullens might just be the most important guy on the Bobcats not named Walker, Sessions and Kidd-Gilchrist. He leads the team in rebounds at nine per game and despite his odd propensity to do things he’s not good at, namely shooting threes, he also is fourth on the team in scoring at 12.9 points per game. He’s a much better defender than last year, too, which is a surprising plus.
Another important player for rebounding reasons is center Brendan Heywood. He’s scoring 7.3 points per game and grabbing eight rebounds and blocking one shot, too. He’s in the middle of the pack as far as defensive rating goes on this team, but that’s only because he’s asked to do the majority of the work defensively in the paint for the Bobcats.
He has been overshadowed by some of the guys mentioned above, but Ben Gordon, who everyone thought would be the main man in Charlotte has still had a pretty good year coming off the bench. He’s third on the team in scoring at 13 points per game, third on the team in assists at 2.7 per game and fifth on the team in PER (player efficiency rating) at 16.4. Oh yeah, he’s doing all that while playing just the seventh most minutes per game on the team.
Finally, with Gerald Henderson injured for at least another week, Jeffrey Taylor will be able to continue his ascension up the minutes ladder in Charlotte. After not playing in the first few games of the year, the Bobcats second round pick has started to pick up some steam in Henderson’s wake. Mike Dunlap has subbed him in late in games as a defensive specialist and he’s also played enough lately to up his per game averages to 5.3 points, two rebounds, one assist half a steal and half a block.
So while Walker, Sessions and Kidd-Gilchrist have certainly led the Bobcats, um, (re)surgance?, those other guys have played a huge part in it.