Over the next few weeks, The Charlotte Sports Blog will compare every Eastern Conference team to the Charlotte Bobcats in preparation for the 2013-2014 NBA season.
Point Guard: Kemba Walker Vs. John Wall
After missing the first two months of the 2012-2013 season with a left knee injury, John Wall returned looking like a superstar during the second-half of the season, averaging 18.5 points, 7.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. If the twenty-two year-old can stay healthy this season, Wall and second-year shooting guard Bradley Beal could be of similar caliber to that of the“splash bros” combination of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for Golden State. While Kemba Walker can easily compete with Wall, he doesn’t have the quite the talent or playmaking ability to match the Washington point-guard's play.
Advantage: John Wall
Shooting Guard: Gerald Henderson Vs. Bradley Beal
What a pleasant surprise Bradley Beal was for the Washington Wizards last season. As a rookie, Beal averaged just south of fourteen points per game while making 38% of his three-point attempts. While Henderson had a encouraging season last year for Charlotte, Beal will likely have more opportunities to score being Washington’s second option while Henderson is third or fourth option for the Bobcats. Look for the University of Florida product to average around sixteen points per game this season.
Small Forward: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Vs. Otto Porter
I’m not going to lie here, if you had asked me on draft night who was the better player between MKG or Otto Porter, I would have undoubtedly stated that Porter held a large advantage. Summer league gave some seconds thoughts about Porter. Despite only participating in three games, the Georgetown University product shot only 30% from the floor and didn’t appear to be extremely involved in the action. Despite Porter’s Vegas woes, he’s too talented to continue his poor play. Look for Porter to have a successful rookie season for the Wizards.
Power Forward: Cody Zeller Vs. Nene
There’s no denying that Cody Zeller played like a budding superstar during summer league this past July, averaging over sixteen points and ten rebounds in four games. The question is whether or not Zeller can keep up this production over the course of an entire rookie season. While it will be nearly impossible to match the double-double numbers from this summer, there’s hope that the Indiana product will have a strong rookie season. Unfortunately, Zeller has yet to prove himself in the NBA while Washington’s Nene has had eleven seasons of solid play to solidify his advantage.
Center: Al Jefferson Vs. Emeka Okafor
Well, the Wizard's luck is finally going to come to an end with this match-up: Emeka Okafor has had interesting road since his departure from Charlotte in 2009-playing in New Orleans for three years before being signed by the Wizards last summer. Unfortunately, the former second overall pick is not the same caliber player as he with the Bobcats, despite producing respectable numbers last season-averaging close ten points and nine rebounds a game. Al Jefferson, on the other hand, should be in the mix for an all-star bid this season playing for Charlotte in the Eastern Conference this season.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe