Don’t look now…no really, don’t look.
The Bobcats are 7-5. They have a winning record. They’ve just matched their win total from all of last season. They have one of the top performing rookies from the 2012 Draft, and another rookie who is making his case for the unofficial “Steal of the Draft” Award. Bobcats.com is deeming them the Cardiac Cats due to their ability to win close games, during most of which they’ve been led by Cardiac Kemba (a la the ankle-breaking stepback jumper from the Big East Tournament game winner against Pitt). Oh, and they have a winning record.
Nobody’s paying them any attention, and that’s perfectly fine. The Bobcats are playing great by flying under the radar.
At the beginning of the 2012-2013 NBA Season, many experts predicted the Bobcats to win more than seven games, an ongoing joke for most of the sporting world, and a sad reminder to Charlotte fans about how dismal last season actually was.
Nobody, however, could have predicted this much early season success.
At the beginning of the season, many experts predicted that the Bobcats would be fighting Orlando for the first overall pick in the 2013 Draft. If they continue to play this well, they may not have a first-round pick at all.
Charlotte just matched their win total from all of last year in 12 games. Looking at NBA.com, however, you would think that the team still hasn’t won a game. No coverage; no big headline at the top of the page, or big picture leading to highlights and an article about the achievement. Instead, just another article about how Andrew Bynum is out for another six months because he has bad knees.
And yet, that’s o.k. No added pressure for the team or the owners? No problem. Charlotte will simply continue to surprise and impress.
The Cats are sure to hit a few road blocks throughout the season. They have yet to play the defending champion Miami Heat, the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder, the reloaded Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers, the newly refurbished Brooklyn Nets, or the Ageless Wonders, better known by their official name: the San Antonio Spurs.
This time last season, Cats fans were simply hoping that their team wouldn’t get slaughtered and be turned into highlight reel footage and be posterized by those teams. This season, Charlotte fans can look forward to these games to see how well the team’s youth and new-found confidence will take them.
It won’t be easy, to say the least. This week alone, the Bobcats have to travel to Oklahoma City and Atlanta, before returning home to take on the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that just a few years ago was playing hard and scrappy just as this Charlotte team is now.
It will be a difficult week, for sure, but if teams continue to underestimate Charlotte’s potential and never-say-die attitude, the Bobcats could be 10-5 going into the first week of December.
Some people still probably won’t notice what’s brewing down in Charlotte. And that’s absolutely fine. The Bobcats have excelled at playing under the radar, and if it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it.