Can Jefferson help Bobcats improve on last year?
Our look at the NBA Eastern Conference begins with the Charlotte Bobcats, who will be hoping to improve on a disappointing season last year.
The Charlotte Bobcats were one of three franchises left adrift at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings last season with a 21-61 record to end the year.
Mike Dunlap paid the price for failing to inspire a decent return on the faith placed in him, and he has since been replaced by Steve Clifford who will hope to help some of the brighter prospects develop.
Coupled with the arrival of Al Jefferson from the Utah Jazz, there are signs of potential, but whether or not it will be enough to compete in a tough Eastern Conference remains to be seen.
Joining Jefferson this year is the No.4 pick in the draft, Cody Zeller. Anthony Tolliver was added as a free agent but it is a young pairing that perhaps will determine the level of success in Charlotte this season.
Both Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made decent strides forward last year, but it will be up to them to contribute consistently to a dangerous looking offense.
However, consistency will be the key to their play, as both must improve on their shooting from both close-range and beyond the arc in order to make their team more dynamic and dangerous.
Nevertheless, with the worst defense in the NBA last season it looks as though little will change this year and this will undoubtedly be the Bobcats’ biggest weakness.
For all their movements in the summer, it is unlikely that Charlotte will improve enough to warrant a place further up the regular season rankings, and they will unwillingly admit that they are short of reaching the post-season and will look to the lottery.
In contrast, they may well be worth watching purely to see how their younger stars play and develop, as they could be set to move on in the near future.
Charlotte Bobcats predicted finish: 15th
Front court: 6/10
Back court: 5/10