2. The Indiana Pacers
Take a look for a moment, if you will, at the following stats:
Leading scorer: 17.6 vs 17.3 ppg, leading rebounder: 7.9 vs 7.0 rpg, leading assists: 4.8 vs 5.6, Leading steals: 1.9 vs 1.9, leading blocks: 2.7 vs 1.7.
The point of this is not to show how much better or worse the Charlotte Bobcats are than the Indiana Pacers at this point in the season right now, but to show how close the two teams are as far as their go to guys for the most important (or noticeable) stats in offense, defense and rebounding.
Charlotte’s statistical leaders are the second number, and in scoring, assists, and steals there’s not that much of a difference at all. Even in rebounding and blocks the difference is about one per game.
The problem for Charlotte is, they don’t have the depth the Pacers have. The ‘Cats next leading scorer is Ramon Sessions at 14 per game; The Pacers have David West, who scores 17 a game. In rebounding, it’s a little better. Charlotte’s top three rebounders go for seven, seven, and 5.6 per game; the Pacers’ go for 7.9, 7.8 and 7.7. As for assists? It’s 5.6 then 3.8 and down into the twos and below for Charlotte, whereas Indiana’s top three go for 4.8, 4.0 and three. Steals and blocks look about the same in comparison; Charlotte has one top guy, then no one who comes that close, while the Pacers have at least two guys they can lean on.
To be like Indiana, the Bobcats would have to find two solid low post players. Can Bismack Biyombo or Byron Mullens be either of those guys? I don’t know. It starts in the draft, though.
They’d also have to find a coach who knows how to get the most out of his team defensively, speed Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s offensive progression up, and, like this whole comparison was getting at, build depth across the board.