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Why I'm Scared, And Why I'm Not: Charlotte

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In the coming weeks, I'm going to try (emphasis on try) and analyze our competitors in the Southeast Division and take a look at what makes them dangerous in the coming season, and what helps us sleep easier at night.  I say the coming weeks, since this will probably be my last post for a week or so, because I'll be moving so you basically get a taste of what the series is going to be like, and then a whole lot of nothing.  Then again, there's only 4 other teams in the division, so by the time you're done reading this, you're already one-fourth through!

What scares me about the Bobcats:

  • Emeka Okafor.  He doesn't blow you away offensively, but there aren't a lot of big men out there that can say that they give you more than 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks a night.
  • No team boasts a better two-man dunk combination that Charlotte with Jason Richardson and Gerald Wallace.  That might not count for a lot in the grand scheme of things, but you can't underestimate the psychological damage of a good posterization.
  • In all honesty, I don't see Larry Brown making a huge impact on the Bobcats, but if he can get everyone to buy in, you never know what could happen.  He can't be any worse than Sam Vincent.
  • Let's not forget that Sean May out all of last season after undergoing knee surgery.  If he can return to his pre-surgery form, he'll give the team a major boost.
  • A rookie that didn't get enough respect last season was Jared Dudley.  He's a great rebounder for his position, a solid passer, and a solid defender to boot.  Not a guy that will help you win a fantasy championship, but he'll be a guy that will contribute to some good teams in the future, whether it's in Charlotte, or somewhere else.

What doesn't scare me about the Bobcats:

  • Could we look back on selection of D.J. Augustin five years from now as the move that lit a fire in Raymond Felton to go out and prove that he's in the same class as the PGs that went ahead of him in the '05 Draft?  I wouldn't be shocked, but it would leave them with the issue of what to do with Augustin..  Could it also be the move that leads to a rift on the team that can only be solved by a trade that leaves the team with less talent than they had before?  Absolutely.
  • Gerald Wallace is bandwagoner.  (Yes, that's a valid reason!)
  • Adam Morrison.

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  • Michael Jordan is still running the show.

I don't see the Bobcats making the playoffs this season, but I think they're moving in the right direction.  If they can handle the Felton-Augustin situation well, and if Larry Brown can manage to not alienate everyone on the team, than they might be a lot closer to making the playoffs than we all think.