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  1. #1
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    Charlotte Bobcats exploring small ball to maximize Gerald Henderson, Ben Gordon

    Charlotte Bobcats exploring small ball to maximize Gerald Henderson, Ben Gordon

    Problem: How do the Charlotte Bobcats get their best two scoring options on the floor together if they play the same position?

    Solution: Perhaps they don’t always have to play the same position.

    Gerald Henderson finished last season as the Bobcats’ leading scorer at 15.1 points per game. Then in June the Bobcats traded for Ben Gordon, a career 16.5 ppg., scorer. Henderson and Gordon are both best suited to playing shooting guard at the NBA level.

    But for significant stretches of Sunday’s 100-88 exhibition victory over the Washington Wizards, new coach Mike Dunlap played “small ball’’ with Henderson at small forward, rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at power forward and only one true big man (generally Byron Mullens or Bismack Biyombo) in the game.

    The Wizards made that easier to do, since they were missing key big men Nene (plantar fasciitis) and Emeka Okafor (general soreness following training camp). But Dunlap liked what he saw, and plans to go small for at least portions of most games this season.

    Certainly there are tradeoffs: You can be only so good a rebounding team with just one player taller than 6-7. But the scoring options when Henderson, Gordon and point guard Kemba Walker are all in the game, and the potential for takeaway defense and fast breaks, make the lineup intriguing.

    “Better ballhandlers, more scorers, quicker ball-movement,” Dunlap said of the advantages of small ball. “Obviously we give up some rebounding and some mismatches, but the strong side of it is we have those kind of players who can penetrate and make great decisions with the ball.”

    Gordon, who had 16 points off the bench Sunday, immediately became the Bobcat best suited to be a go-to guy in late-game situations. He’s dangerous going to the rim and his pull-up jump shot is the most proven offensive weapon on this roster.

    Gordon said the small lineup worked well Sunday, but so did everything else the Bobcats tried against a depleted Washington roster. He said small ball will work as a change-up, but probably couldn’t be something the Bobcats employ for long stretches because the defense would break down.

    Henderson and Kidd-Gilchrist have the biggest challenge defensively in such a lineup. Kidd-Gilchrist is replaceable with a true power forward, but for small ball to work, Henderson has to be able to guard opposing small forwards.

    He has before, and he’s confident he can now.

    “I don’t get posted up that much unless it’s a really big guy,” said Henderson, who is 6-5 and a sturdy 215 pounds. “When threes (small forwards) try to post me, I feel I can hold my own.”

    Henderson said this team should embrace the unorthodox as potentially creating advantages.

    “With the pace we want to play at and the guys we have, it’s not going to be perfect lineups all the time,” Henderson predicted. “You’re going to see me and Ben in the game at same time or Kemba and Ramon (Sessions) in the game at the same time. It can work.”


    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/201...ing-small.html

  2. #2
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    Sure, why not?
    Quote Originally Posted by CubbieSteve View Post
    JDM : Jumbo Dick Man

  3. #3
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    I hope Ben Gordon works out well for you guys... I feel like he was never really put into the right position here in Detroit. He can still be an amazing scoring option playing next to the right PG.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kduce View Post
    I hope Ben Gordon works out well for you guys... I feel like he was never really put into the right position here in Detroit. He can still be an amazing scoring option playing next to the right PG.
    He has been solid so far in preseason. I know its only preseason, but it makes us hopeful. You guys have what looks like a steal in Drummond

  5. #5
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    Yeah I'm excited about Drummond for sure, but I'm also really excited to see what MKG can do. I also am curious about Biyombo because we had our eye on him and I really really wanted him until I saw that Brandon Knight fell that far and then I started praying you guys would take him so we could get Knight lol.

    I think we are a little bit ahead of you in the rebuilding stage (please forgive me if I'm wrong I am not extremely knowledgeable on your team) but it seems like you guys are headed in the right direction for sure.

    I'm going to try and stop by this forum and post when I can, trying to keep my eye on the rebuilding teams... its weird but I think its really exciting to see the pieces come together and how different GMs build different teams.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kduce View Post
    Yeah I'm excited about Drummond for sure, but I'm also really excited to see what MKG can do. I also am curious about Biyombo because we had our eye on him and I really really wanted him until I saw that Brandon Knight fell that far and then I started praying you guys would take him so we could get Knight lol.

    I think we are a little bit ahead of you in the rebuilding stage (please forgive me if I'm wrong I am not extremely knowledgeable on your team) but it seems like you guys are headed in the right direction for sure.

    I'm going to try and stop by this forum and post when I can, trying to keep my eye on the rebuilding teams... its weird but I think its really exciting to see the pieces come together and how different GMs build different teams.
    In that draft i actually really wanted Knight lol. I was hoping yall would pick Kemba or Leonard. Yall are definitely ahead of us in the rebuilding stage, especially if Drummond continues at this level. We still need guys like Kemba and Bismack to show more promise. And like JDM said, You are always welcome here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsams50 View Post
    In that draft i actually really wanted Knight lol. I was hoping yall would pick Kemba or Leonard. Yall are definitely ahead of us in the rebuilding stage, especially if Drummond continues at this level. We still need guys like Kemba and Bismack to show more promise. And like JDM said, You are always welcome here.
    Kemba is going to be a legit PG too I think. We were looking for a big that draft, but I was praying a good PG would fall to us since we have Rodney Stuckey and he is more of a shooting guard. I had a man crush on Knight, lol but I was also really liking the idea of Kemba Walker too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kduce View Post
    Kemba is going to be a legit PG too I think. We were looking for a big that draft, but I was praying a good PG would fall to us since we have Rodney Stuckey and he is more of a shooting guard. I had a man crush on Knight, lol but I was also really liking the idea of Kemba Walker too.
    I'm growing to like Kemba. I just think Knight has a higher ceiling. I think i too had a man crush on him lol. I have faith in Bismack and Kemba though. Especially with the small ball we want to play. MKG at the 4 will be a speed mismatch for most PFs in the league. Although he has the size disadvantage there too. It will be good to use BG and Hendo at the same time though.

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    ^ Agreed. Pistons are definitely in the right direction. I haven't been able to see much of the preseason but it's nice to hear that Drummond is doing well. I always have respect and pull for the teams that are rebuilding (obviously ours is like pulling teeth but we're getting there .) Anyways, definitely stop by and post in the 'Cat's forum!
    Quote Originally Posted by CubbieSteve View Post
    JDM : Jumbo Dick Man

  10. #10
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    It was nice to see our teams play each other. I was actually pretty impressed watching the Bobcats play, if they can find a way to get consistent you guys are going to win a lot more games this year because when they were in rhythm they had a lot of talent and good shots. Near the end they started taking bad shots again, but I think alot of that has to do with Kemba needing more experience so he can learn.

    We started making bad choices too, but were able to put up the win. I love the energy of young legs tho it should be a fun, high octane season.

  11. #11
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    I wasn't able to watch it, but I agree watching the up-tempo pace is very exciting! We'll certainly see our fair share of struggles, though, but that's to be expected.
    Quote Originally Posted by CubbieSteve View Post
    JDM : Jumbo Dick Man

  12. #12
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    small ball might workout...

    fastpase on offense and diffence...interresting

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