As our Charlotte Hornets recover from being swept by the world champion Miami Heat, the front office must now focus on the task at hand: making this team a contender. With the foundation of Kemba Walker, Big Al Jefferson and coach Steve Clifford, we are off to a good start. As next year approaches, an important move in the off season, in my opinion, will be resigning Josh McRoberts.
There is no way this team would have done what they did without the coaching of Steve Clifford, the development of Kemba Walker, and most importantly, the free agent signing of Al Jefferson. With all that being said, I believe the man who made this team work well, and will help to make this team get even better is Josh McRoberts. I can see how many casual Charlotte basketball fans would blink at this statement, but as you started to watch this team on a nightly basis, you could begin to see what MJ meant when he said “Josh is our the Connect the Dots Guy." Heck, Big Al even described him as, “Our real point guard.” Obviously, Josh may not be a true scorer on the court, but he can bring three aspects of the game that are key to this teams success: intensity on both sides of the ball, the ability to make the three point shot, and the ability to pass as a big man.
One thing that the Hornets’ fans are also beginning to love about Josh is his intensity. McRoberts has become some what of an enforcer, or a guy that can get his team going, playing hard on both sides of the ball. Nightly, on offense, he brings passing, shooting and just a great knowledge of what Coach Clifford expects. While defense might not be the best aspect of his game, he certainly is above average. Josh may have been the Bobcats all year to really get into it with a player from the opposing team all of last season. Personally, I believe to be successful in this league, a team has to have an enforcer like McRoberts.
Throughout the year, many teams learned to respect Josh from beyond the arc. He shot upwards of 37 percent on the year and made over 100 individual three point baskets. McRoberts also learned how to spot up from the left wing or corner so when other teams went to double Al, he was there to make them pay. Take a look at our starting lineup. McRoberts is easily the second, if not best 3 point shooter. With that being said, this current starting lineup needs Josh’s shooting range. With both Gerald and MKG on the floor, Kemba can not be your only option from deep.
My favorite part of Josh’s game is his wonderful passing. Throughout the season. Josh continued to show off his great passing abilities. From the behind the back passes, to the one handed bullets, McRoberts can fit the ball into any space. As you can imagine, this ability matches perfect alongside Al Jefferson. While Big Al may be the best left-block scorer in the league, someone has to get him the ball when he is being doubled or fronted. Josh is willing and able to feed Jefferson from all over the court. One of my favorite moments or plays of last year was Josh’s no look behind the back pass to Al for a slam. That one moment really showed how McRoberts and Jefferson work well together on the court.
My point here is not to say that McRoberts is one of the best forwards in the league, or even one of the best players on the team for that matter. I just believe that Josh’s game fits perfectly with Jefferson and Walker. Going forward, he must be considered a piece to the puzzle, and if you lose this piece, the Bobcats may never be able to complete that puzzle of NBA success.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe