Charlotte Bobcats History
Looking back at the Bobcats second season in Charlotte, it’s hard to overlook the endless hardships which plagued the team. After all, this was a team that missed 257 games to injury or illness this season, second only to the Houston Rockets with 274. Not only that, but Charlotte also started 28 different starting lineups, third only to New York who tried 42 lineups and Indiana with 31 lineups. High-profile rookies weren’t contributing and problems in the front office didn’t help the situation.
Still, the Bobcats managed to rack up 26 wins and closed the season on a franchise-best four game winning streak. That’s something that didn’t go unnoticed by one of the Bobcats co-captains. “I think it just showed the heart of this Charlotte Bobcats team,” Gerald Wallace said. “Despite all the injuries and the obstacles we faced, we were still able to come out and get it done and get to 26 wins.”
A large part of why the Charlotte Bobcats won 26 games was because of the play of 6-7, 215-pound, fifth-year player, Gerald Wallace. Wallace was arguably the most consistent and productive player for the Bobcats averaging almost 16 points a game, 9 rebounds, and an NBA best, 2.5 steals a game. He filled a huge void at power forward because of numerous injuries to the Bobcats’ big men.
With Charlotte battling injuries, particularly on the inside to Emeka Okafor (ankle), Sean May (knee), Melvin Ely (shin, ankle, migraines) and Jake Voskuhl (knees, ankle), Wallace got the opportunity to bring back the back-to-the-basket style of offense he played in college and high school, showing the rest of the league a new element to his game that made him even more difficult to defend.
Some players had to step up their game during the season and keep up with Captain Gerald Wallace. Brevin Knight contributed by posting career numbers in points and assists. Rookie Raymond Felton came along the second half of the seasons also contributing 12 points and 6 assists a game. He won Rookie of the Month awards for the past three months of the season despite not being chosen to the First Team All-Rookie.
The team is also facing a front office situation with who exactly will be coaching the Charlotte Bobcats for the 2006-07 NBA season. Some rumors circulated saying the organization is talking to Kentucky coach Tubby Smith and Maryland coach Gary Williams, but both were completely untrue. It is possible Bobcat coach Bernie Bickerstaff could take a position as general manager but no decisions have been made.
For the upcoming season, Charlotte may be in store for a breakout season. The improved play of Gerald Wallace and capable guards in Brevin Knight and Raymond Felton show Charlotte can turn some heads next season. The frontcourt can be lead, if healthy, by Emeka Okafor who had a strong rookie season, and Sean May who has yet to prove his potential but came out of the University of North Carolina an NCAA champion along with teammate Felton.
With new owner Michael Jordan in the mix, the Charlotte Bobcats selected Adam Morrison, regarded as the best scorer and most NBA ready player in the draft, out of Gonzaga University. Morrison brings in the highly needed scoring the young team desperately needs.
Charlotte is in a mediocre Southeast Division, with the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic, both in building stages like the Charlotte Bobcats, and the only posing threats coming from an aging Miami Heat team and a charismatic and athletic team in the Washington Wizards.
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