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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: The Bobcats’ future and a star in the making

Yash Matange
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 21 Oct 2013, 19:22 IST
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has the weight of being the second overall pick in the NBA Draft last year on his shoulders and this weight comes with the expectation of bringing a below par Bobcats team from the sewer of NBA organizations.

Michael Kidd-Gilchirst being congragulated by the NBA Commissoner David Stern after being selected 2nd overall pick in the 2012 Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Yes, the sewer!

The Bobcats franchise recorded the single worst single season record with 7-59 and followed it up past season with 21-61 record (league’s second worst). Keeping those feats in mind, MGK was what the Bobcats needed in the draft and exactly what they need for the future.

Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan referred to MGK as a “connector guy”, a guy who can connect the dots and do a lot of things for the team. Not a complete player yet but give him five to six years and he has the skill set and ability to make the Bobcats serious Playoff contenders.

Here are a few areas MGK will make a positive impact or contribution to the team.

Multiple Position Role

Led by LeBron James, the NBA is headed in a direction where traditional positions are becoming less relevant. This is showcase best by small forwards like James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony who are used at the 4 spot quite regularly.

While MGK would take time to acclimate such a role in the NBA, his quickness and agility allows him lock down defensively on the guards while his size and length come in very handy while defending the forwards.

Taking into consideration his abilities the Bobcats would find it highly effective to use MKG in a multi position role, particularly on the defensive end.

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The Connector

MJ is among the notable who have made a comparison between Bulls legend Scottie Pippen and MKG. As stated earlier, Kidd-Gilchrist has the potential to do a lot of things for the team and the best way of extract most out of him would be to play him in a Pippen-like role.

Kidd-Gilchrist is a very good playmaker and unselfish passer of the ball. Capable of finding his big men down low for an easy basket, MKG is also very good at drawing the defense on his way to the rim before kicking it out to the perimeter. However, he’s at his best when pushing the ball up the court, expertly finding slashers with drop-off passes.

That was a look at his strengths, let’s take a look at what his game lacks:-

Need for a jumper

Although he is an all-out hustler, Kidd-Gilchrist must work on his jumper to make him an all round threat with the ball

His biggest and probably only offensive drawback!

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I don’t think you need to be a qualified basketball physician to diagnose Kidd-Gilchrist with a flat jumper. He was brutal in the mid- to long-range areas last season, only making 29 percent of his shots outside the key and inside the arc, according to NBA.com.

If you examine the clip below, you’ll notice he’s rarely square to the basket, and he tends to bring the ball across himself. That’s not a great way to start a shooting stroke. A wide stance complicates the matter further, and he has a habit of releasing the ball on the way down, leading to a rather flat arc.

Of course there have been players like Reggie Miller and Shawn Marion who have weird shooting styles and have excelled at putting them in, so it wouldn’t matter how Kidd-Gilchrist shoots till he puts them in.

In the attempt to bait him into taking the jumper, some defenders do not bother putting their hands up. But a jumper that can threaten the defense will set up his attack game off the dribble. If he can get defenders to challenge him on the perimeter, he’ll find himself in better position to blow by them and get to the rim.

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He at times plays too fast and loose with the ball and on his way to the rim favors his right hand a tad too much, making it easier for teams with good scouts to block the shot.

At a young age, he is known for his work ethic and is as diligent a worker as there is among the incoming rookies. Whether he refines with his present shooting style or scraps it for a brand new edition, he can be trusted on his statement on being an accurate marksmen in due time only because he’ll put the hours necessary to do so.

To conclude, I think Kidd-Gilchrist is a player the Bobcats should look to make their franchise player. He is young, athletic and a player who brings a lot of energy on the floor. He is sure to see a lot of minutes, an opportunity to really improve his game and reach his potential. He has already shown the improvement in his jumper in the Summer League, but we all know where we want to see him make it-on the court in tough situations for the Bobcats during the regular season.

Here’s another clip which would showcase the all-out hustle player that Kidd-Gilchrist. His athletic ability whether to finish at the rim or block a potential dunk is clearly seen. You got 5 minutes kill? then watch the young man’s talent and highlights on display from the past season.

Published 21 Oct 2013, 19:22 IST
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