Charlotte Bobcats: Early Season Trends

The Charlotte Bobcats are seven games into the NBA season. That is seven out of 82 games, making us 8.5 percent through the regular season. Woo, time flies doesn’t it? That was sarcasm … in case you didn’t notice. Stat geeks like myself are cheering with joy at this point in the year because our sample sizes are beginning to get bigger and we can start analyzing statistics. Obviously, through seven games we can’t jump to any groundbreaking conclusions, but we can start noticing some trends. Here are two major trends I have noticed:

1: Offensive issues:

The Bobcats might be the worst offensive team in the NBA. They are 29th in points per game,  27th in field goal, 3-point and free throw shooting. The issue has been pretty obvious early on: pace and ball movement. Charlotte has turned the ball over only 14.1 times per game, good enough for sixth in the NBA. You would think fewer mistakes would lead to more shot attempts, right? Surprisingly not, the Bobcats rank 27th in the NBA in shots per game. Charlotte also has trouble passing the ball, ranking up 17.7 assists per game. That number ranks them 28th in the NBA. So how are the Bobcats winning games? Free throw shooting. They rank second in the NBA with 31.6 free throw attempts per contest. That number will for sure come back down to earth and when it does the Bobcats will find themselves in a bigger offensive knot if they don’t improve their pace and ball movement.

2. Ramon Sessions needs more minutes

After a disappointing first year in Charlotte, former Nevada point guard Ramon Sessions is starting to settle in. Sessions is starting to thrive off the bench and may establish himself as the best backup point guard in the NBA.  Take a look:

2012-13 CHA 17.7 .529 5.9 25.5 1.5 0.3 11.2
2013-14 CHA 20.0 .540 4.5 29.5 1.1 0.6 14.7
Career 16.9 .533 6.8 31.7 1.6 0.3 15.1
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/12/2013.

Using the PER stat, we can see that Sessions has become more effective. Sessions should be lobbying for more minutes. I would love to see him play 25 plus minutes per game and take a load off Kemba Walker‘s back. Consistency has also been a problem. Could inconsistent minutes be leading to inconsistent performances? Let’s take a look at his game log:

1 1 2013-10-30 CHA @ HOU L (-13) 19:20 .455 1.000 .750 2 1 1 0 2 14
2 2 2013-11-01 CHA CLE W (+6) 19:36 .400 .000 .333 1 4 0 0 3 9
3 3 2013-11-02 CHA @ NOP L (-21) 34:16 .455 .000 .750 2 6 0 0 2 22
4 4 2013-11-05 CHA @ NYK W (+5) 22:29 .111 .000 .889 1 4 2 0 3 10
5 5 2013-11-06 CHA TOR W (+2) 14:34 .250 .750 1 3 0 0 2 8
6 6 2013-11-08 CHA NYK L (-10) 14:54 1.000 1.000 1 2 0 1 1 15
7 7 2013-11-11 CHA ATL L (-9) 20:11 .300 1.000 3 2 0 0 1 10
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/12/2013.

He has been all over the place. I think coach Steve Clifford is still figuring out how to properly use the sixth-year point guard. Outside of the games against the Knicks and Raptors on Nov. 5-6, Sessions has been pretty serviceable. He has proven he can come off the bench and score or distribute if needed.  Look for the Bobcats to keep experimenting with lineups as they try to fine tune his role on the team.

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Tags: Bobcats Ramon Sessions

  • Michael Dunlap

    Inconsistent minutes like that drive me crazy. How can a player get into the right mindset when they don’t know if (or when/how much) they’re going to play on any given night?

    • Arash Darbandi

      Agree, especially since Sessions has the track record to prove he can handle 25+ minutes a contest. In his 23 games with the Lakers in 2012, he averaged 13 and 6 in 30 minutes of play.