Summer League Impressions

It may seem a little early for this, but seeing as the core guys (Zeller, MKG, Taylor and Biyombo) figure to play less in the remaining games, I thought it was an appropriate time to jot down my thoughts on their play during Summer League the last few days.

Zeller a Steal?

Although his first game was a bit rocky, Cody Zeller seemed to adapt quickly. He took the ball to the hole and hit the jumper pretty well, and didn’t seem to be deficient on any end of the court. ESPN is now saying the Bobcats may have gotten a steal in the draft … with the 4th overall pick. I’m not saying I told you so, but …

Zeller was perhaps the most NBA ready guy in the top 10 of the draft. He played in a tough conference and was thought of as the top pick coming into the last college season. Why it’s a surprise that he’s played well is a mystery to me.

Imagine what Zeller will be able to do when real NBA point guards like Kemba Walker or Ramon Sessions, and another big, like Al Jefferson, are on the court with him. The pick and roll should be their bread and butter.

Taylor More Assertive, Ready For Larger Role?

Folks have made the statement that Jeffrey Taylor’s excellent play during Summer League should be taken with a grain of salt; after all, it’s just Summer League, right?

But the way he’s played — more assertive going to the basket, playing with confidence, hitting the jumper with regularity — is exactly what you’d expect a good player to do against lesser talent. If a guy can play that well against Summer League talent, then surely he’s ready for more minutes when it matters, right?

Taylor has definitely proven that he’s ready for more minutes, whether it’s starting at SG for a soon to be departing Gerald Henderson (perhaps?), or playing behing Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the rotation.

I wonder if his play has given the Bobcats any leverage or cause for second-guessing their stance in the team’s negotiations with Henderson on a long-term contract.

Either way, it should make for an interesting offseason when Taylor is a free agent as well. Someone is going to pay the “Viking Warrior”.

The Curious Case of MKG’s Jumper

We all know that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has amazing athleticism. He can drive to the basket. He is a good defender and rebounder. It’s his broken jumpshot that makes every Bobcats Fan cringe.

He’s been working with Bobcats assistant coach Mark Price on refining his motion, and to date, it still looks like he’s relying on his hitched release.

We’ve seen practice videos on that show he’s working on making the release more fluid, but during the games, he’s still reverting back to the same, flawed release.

He’s a young guy, and he’s still very raw and talented, but he’s got to correct that release before he is taken seriously as a scorer.

Broken Bismack

Speaking of being taken seriously as a scorer, it’s no secret that when the Bobcats pass the ball to Bismack Biyombo that there is a high probability that he will commit a turnover. Either a fumbled catch, a travel, a (badly) missed shot, or a bad pass, it’s good news for the opposing team when the ball comes to Biyombo. To be fair, he’s made strides, and he’s shown tiny glimpses of progress for the countless hours of work he’s put in, but when it comes down to it, after two seasons, he’s still not an NBA Caliber player. Perhaps in another few years — after all, he is just 20 years old — he’ll be ready to play in the NBA, but he has a hard time just catching the ball right now, and that’s not OK.

He’s lightyears better on defense than he is on offense, but he’s such a liability on offense that you have to wonder how long the Bobcats will keep him around. They’ve already signed Al Jefferson to replace him for the short term. Will they soon look to label him a bust and move on with another center prospect?