Charlotte Bobcats Betting Odds – NBA Basketball Futures – Gambling Picks
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Sportsbook.com Bobcats Odds to win NBA title – 80/1
Key players added – Eduardo Najera, Matt Carroll
Key players lost – Ray Felton
Michael Jordan the player was fine without a dominant point guard, with apologies to B.J. Armstrong and John Paxson. We’ll find out this season if Michael Jordan the owner/GM feels the same way. Backed up against the salary cap, Jordan could only look on wistfully as starter Ray Felton – one of the league’s most underrated players – bailed on the Bobcats and took the Knicks’ money.
The move essentially reduced from three (Felton, Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson) to two the number of high-quality players on a team that finally made the playoffs last season, its seventh in the league.
Wallace and Jackson toil in relative obscurity — partially because the Bobcats aren’t very good and rarely appear on national television and partially because of the slowdown style that coach Larry Brown employs by necessity.
Charlotte likes to spend 85 to 90 percent of the 24-second clock before making a move and that, combined with a team full of role players who have bought in defensively, makes for some godawful boring basketball.
Brown doesn’t care, because it enables him to actually coach rather than let the players free-lance. And it really is Charlotte’s only chance at being halfway competitive in a Southeast Conference that now features two of the top four teams in the NBA, plus the free-wheeling and talented Hawks.
Without Felton the PG duties have been turned over to D.J. Augustin, who isn’t bad but will have to be coached up by Brown to be able to hold his own against some of the better 1s in the league. Wallace is another underrated player and can fill up a stat sheet (18.2 PPG, 10 rebounds, 2.1 assists a and 1.5 steals last season).
Jackson can flat-out score, but the big question is how long he’ll stay on the court if the league is serious about referees cracking down on complainers.
Surprising stat: Charlotte allowed the fewest points in the league last season, but was 28th (of 30) in scoring.
Strengths: There are few better coaches in the league than Brown. Just a shame he won’t get credit for it because he has moved around so much.
Weaknesses: There is not a lot of depth here, and injuries to rotation players will be damaging.
Playoffs? Teetering between possible and probable. Hardly a guarantee.
Win total projection for 2010-11: 38
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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel writer from Massachusetts.