Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bobcats Face Offseason Questions

In the wake of the Bobcats first-ever playoff appearance, one thing seems certain. If this team is ever to make some noise in the postseason it needs a franchise player. For the six years this team has been in existence, it has won games on hustle, grit and determination. All are valuable and admirable qualities, but to advance in the playoffs you need a go to guy.

Think about it, why have the Bobcats been eliminated and Oklahoma City is tied 2-2 in its series with the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers? Two words, Kevin Durant. The Thunder have someone that can go toe-to-toe with Kobe Bryant. In short, he's a game changer.

Just look at the recent list of NBA Champions. Aside from the Pistons, coached by Larry Brown, no team that has raised the trophy has been without a franchise player.

Sure, not everyone has a Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dewayne Wade, Tim Duncan, etc. But that's the reason most every year the NBA playoffs run true to form.

The sad reality is if the Bobcats had been able to get the number one overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, they would have had an opportunity to select the Magic's Dwight Howard, and thus its franchise player.

Moving forward, the Bobcats face many questions. First and foremost is whether Larry Brown will stay to coach. I don't deny Coach Brown means everything that he has said about wanting to coach in Charlotte for Michael Jordan. But he has family ties to consider. His wife and kids live in Philadelphia and if they won't their husband and father closer to home, don't be surprised to see the much traveled Brown bolt.

If Brown stays, he's faced with the question of how does this team get better? The franchise has no salary cap maneuverability to go out and try to lure any of the big name free agents that will hit the market this summer. Meaning this team will still be lacking a franchise player and is likely to look very much like the same team that just got swept in the playoffs by Orlando.

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