Stats & Info: Charlotte Bobcats

Why MKG doesn't make sense for Bobcats

June, 30, 2012
The most popular post-draft topic is always determining who were the winners and losers. But nobody can predict immediately which players will succeed and who will be busts.

However, we know which teams best addressed their statistical weaknesses and which teams made picks that didn’t address those needs.


The Bobcats needed offense. They ranked last in the NBA this season in field-goal percentage (41.4) and 3-point percentage (29.5). They also ranked last in points per play on jump shots, catch-and-shoot jumpers, spot-up plays and overall offense.

Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t seem to fit those needs. He shot 25 percent this season on catch-and-shoot jumpers and 20 percent on jumpers off the dribble. Of the 501 college players with at least 100 spot-up plays (includes jumpers and drives to the basket that aren’t isolation or pick-and-roll), Kidd-Gilchrist ranked 491st in points per play.


The Wizards had an inefficient starting backcourt last season. Of the 40 players with at least 1,000 plays, John Wall ranked last and Jordan Crawford ranked 38th in points per play.

In order to upgrade their backcourt, they drafted Beal to possibly take some pressure off Wall and take minutes from Crawford.

Beal wasn’t incredibly efficient during the regular season, averaging 0.96 points per play. He shot 51.6 percent on 2-point attempts and 32.9 percent on 3-point attempts.

But Beal improved during the NCAA tournament. He averaged 1.15 points per play, which would have ranked among the top-3 percentile during the regular season. He shot 78.9 percent on 2-point attempts and 42.1 percent on 3-point attempts. His 71.1 adjusted field-goal percentage would have ranked best in the country during the regular season.


The one area in which Waiters will help the Cavaliers is their transition game. The Cavs ranked 23rd in points per transition play this season. Waiters averaged 1.43 points per transition play, which led all draft-eligible players with at least 100 transition plays.


The Raptors scored the third-fewest points this past season. Offense was a priority and they addressed that with Ross. Only two players drafted after Ross averaged more points per play and shot a higher field-goal percentage this season with at least 350 plays against man defense: Andrew Nicholson and Mike Scott.

Ross also could help at the defensive end. The Raptors allowed the second-most points per isolation play. Ross held opponents to 22 percent shooting on those plays. Among players who defended at least 35 isolation plays, Tyshawn Taylor was the only draftee who was better than Ross.


The Celtics had the third-lowest rebounding percentage this past season and the lowest offensive rebounding percentage. Not a single player drafted in either round had a higher offensive and defensive rebounding percentage than Sullinger.

Statistical support for this story from

Bobcats must roll with pick on offense

June, 25, 2012

Getty ImagesThe Bobcats could really use a good spot-up shooter to improve their offense.
It’s obvious the Charlotte Bobcats were a bad team, but why were so historically awful? And how can they address their flaws in the NBA Draft?

The two most utilized offensive play types for the Bobcats were spot-up jumpers and transition offense, which made up a third of their offense. They were very inefficient when using those plays, ranking 30th and 29th, respectively, in points per play.

However, they were the 12th-most efficient team in pick-and-roll ball-handler plays. But they only ran the pick-and-roll on 15 percent of their plays, less often than all but six teams.

Their success in the pick-and-roll was largely thanks to guards Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker. Henderson ranked 7th in points per play and (min. 50 plays), and Walker had the 17th-most points in the league as the pick-and-roll ball-handler.

Though the Bobcats’ ball-handlers were efficient in the pick-and-roll, their big men were not. The Bobcats ranked last in points per play by pick-and-roll roll men. Bismack Biyombo ranked dead last in points per play (min. 20 plays), and the team had no players among the top 75 percent in the league.

The Bobcats ranked 29th in the league this season in rebounding percentage, ahead of only the Golden State Warriors. Not a single Bobcat ranked in the top 90 of the league in rebounding percentage. Their best rebounder was Biyombo, who ranked 91st at 14.3 percent.

Twenty percent of the Bobcats’ offense came from spot-up jumpers, but they ranked dead last in points per spot-up play. They shot 34.2 percent on spot-up jumpers and 29.5 percent on 3-point attempts, both of which also ranked last in the NBA.

Based on their statistical weaknesses, the Bobcats should be targeting a big man in the NBA Draft who can be an effective pick-and-roll player and rebounder.

Of course, the ideal player would be Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, who had the seventh-most points in the country as the pick-and-roll roll man this season and averaged more than 10 boards per game.

With Davis likely going No. 1, Kansas’ Thomas Robinson would the best choice for Charlotte. Robinson scored the 14th-most points in the country as the roll man, ranked second in rebounds per game, and led the nation in defensive rebounding percentage.

If the Bobcats opt for a shooter with their first pick, the top choices would likely include Florida’s Bradley Beal and North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, both of whom shot about 36 percent on spot-up jumpers.

If they wait to draft a shooter with the No. 31 pick, they could select Kentucky’s Doron Lamb or Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins, both of whom ranked in the top 20 nationally in spot-up points and shot nearly 50 percent on spot-up jumpers this season. Lamb also shot 46.6 percent on 3-pointers (17th nationally) and Jenkins led the nation in 3-pointers made (134).

Statistical support for this story from

Bobcats are not at odds with NBA lottery

May, 29, 2012
With the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday (8 ET on ESPN), each non-playoff team’s fans are hoping that the ping-pong balls come out in their favor, giving them the No. 1 overall pick and a chance to select likely top choice, Anthony Davis.

Given each team's probability of winning the top pick in the lottery, here is a similar event related to that team that has approximately the same frequency.

Charlotte Bobcats (25.0 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Bobcats losing a game last season by at least 25 points. In 2011-12, the Bobcats lost 16 of 66 games (24.2 percent) of their games by at least 25 points.

Washington Wizards (19.9 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: John Wall scoring at least 24 points in a game last season.

New Orleans Hornets (14.8 percent, includes their own pick and the Timberwolves' pick)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Hornets winning a game by at least eight points last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers (13.8 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Kyrie Irving scoring more than 10 points in the fourth quarter of a game.

Sacramento Kings (7.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins combining for 50 points in a game last season.

Brooklyn Nets (7.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Deron Williams scoring at least 25 points and also having 10 assists in a game last season.

Golden State Warriors (3.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Stephen Curry scoring at least 25 points and also having 10 assists in a game last season.

Toronto Raptors (3.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Andrea Bargnani scoring at least 35 points in a game in 2011-12.

Detroit Pistons (1.7 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Greg Monroe having a 30-point, 15-rebound game last season.

Portland Trail Blazers (0.8 pecent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a half last season.

Milwaukee Bucks (0.7 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Brandon Jennings making five 3-point field goals in a half in 2011-12.

Phoenix Suns (0.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Steve Nash making 50 straight free throws during his career.

Houston Rockets (0.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: NBA team finishing two to four games above .500 and missing playoffs in three straight seasons (which the Rockets have, in fact, done the last three seasons).

Bobcats fighting odds in Lottery

May, 28, 2012
The NBA Draft Lottery Wednesday (ESPN, 8 ET) sees the Charlotte Bobcats with the best odds at acquiring the top selection (25.0 percent) after finishing 7-59 on the season. But the worst record hardly secures the top pick, as just last year the Cleveland Cavaliers won the Draft Lottery with only a 2.8 percent chance.

In addition, since the lottery moved to its present format in 1994, the team with (or tied for) the best odds has won just three of the 18 lotteries: Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 (Allen Iverson), Cavaliers in 2003 (LeBron James) and Orlando Magic in 2004 (Dwight Howard). By comparison, the teams with the third and fifth-best odds have won four times.

It is new territory for the Bobcats franchise. Since joining the NBA in 2004, Charlotte has never held the No. 1 overall pick, and the Bobcats highest selection was in 2004 when they picked Emeka Okafor No. 2 overall (Bobcats originally had the No. 4 pick, but traded with the Los Angeles Clippers).

Ten current franchises have never made the No. 1 overall pick in an NBA Draft since 1966 (start of common draft), and along with Charlotte, the Phoenix Suns (0.6 percent chance) are the only other team in the 2012 Lottery.

The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, have a 0.5 percent chance of winning the Lottery, the third straight year they have held the worst odds. In addition, this is the third straight and fifth time in the last 12 years the Rockets have missed the playoffs despite having a winning record.

Looking ahead, since the start of the Lottery in 1985, 13 of the 27 No. 1 overall picks have gone on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, including 2011 No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving. In addition, since 1990, four overall No. 1 picks went on to win the Rookie of the Year award and make the postseason (Derrick Rose, Tim Duncan, Chris Webber and David Robinson).