Will the Bobcats be smiling like this at the end of the regular season? ESPN.com’s NBA guru John Hollinger seems to think they’ll have reason to. In his season preview of the Bobcats, Hollinger projects the team to finish 40-42, good enough for the 8th playoff spot in the East.
Hollinger cites the upgrade of Larry Brown over Sam Vincent as perhaps the biggest driver behind the improved outlook, but also notes the returns of May and Morrison and the upgrade of DJ Augustin over Jeff McInnis as important reasons.
One positive that Hollinger doesn’t mention is that the core of this team (Wallace, Okafor, Felton) has been together for several years now. Jason Richardson (after initially seeming nonplussed about being traded to the Bobcats) has assimilated nicely into this group, providing the team with a solid group of young veteran leaders who are on the same page on the court. Core continuity is huge in the NBA, and the Bobcats have it going into the ’08-’09 season.
In other, less objective Bobcats coverage, Bonnell and Sorenson at the Observer sound like they’re doing kegstands with Larry Brown Kool-Aid, while Matt Rochinski at bobcats.com has similarly relentlessly positive, yet indispensable training camp news.