VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
CFL
More
Betting Tools

 
Bobcats feel they're on the right path

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Rod Higgins believes the Charlotte Bobcats are a team on the rise.

Advertisement
The team president of basketball operations wasn't about to predict how many wins the Bobcats will have in their final season before changing their name to the Hornets, but he expects they'll be ``much improved'' over last season.

That won't take much.

The Bobcats finished 21-61 last season - the second-worst record in the NBA.

But that was last year. Higgins and general manager Rich Cho were bubbling with optimism Tuesday talking about the addition of free agent center Al Jefferson and the development of rookie draft pick Cody Zeller during the summer.

They also feel they finally have the right coaching staff in place led by Steve Clifford, a longtime NBA assistant who is getting his first crack as a head coach.

Higgins said it would be unfair to make any predictions given the new pieces the team has added and the fact they haven't played a game together yet.

``Who knows what can happen with this team?'' Higgins said with a hint of optimism. ``I'm sure the coach and his staff and the players, by the way we're working right now, they are going to have a high optimism with our team. So we'll see how it plays out.''

Much of the excitement surrounds the addition of Jefferson, who gives the Bobcats a legitimate low post threat and a player Higgins calls a ``difference maker.''

``He's a guy who can post up - something we couldn't do very well last season - and draw a double team and pass out of that double team,'' Higgins said.

That should free up more outside shots for the Bobcats, who struggled from 3-point range last season.

The 7-foot Zeller, the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft, is coming off a strong performance in the NBA Summer League.

He's shown he can knock down long jumpers - something he wasn't asked to do much with the Indiana Hoosiers - and the Bobcats plan to use him as a ``stretch four'' role this season.

Cho said Zeller reminds him of Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, citing size and ability to run the floor as well as his high basketball IQ.

``Cody can play inside and outside and I think he's a hard matchup for a lot of guys,'' Cho said.

Along with Jefferson and Zeller, point guard Kemba Walker, recently re-signed Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are expected to round out Charlotte's starting five.

How those five - and a more experienced bench - mesh when the team arrives at training camp next Tuesday in Asheville, N.C., remains to be seen.

That's up to Clifford, a former Orlando Magic assistant whom the Bobcats feel will better relate to young players than previous coach Mike Dunlap, who was fired after just one season.

``Sometimes the beauty is the uncertainty,'' Higgins said. ``We have obviously had some trying years but now making the changes we've talked about and the uncertainty of not knowing who we are, I would presume we are going to be much improved.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
· Mejia: 2018 BIG3 Snapshot
· BetDSI: LeBron Future Props
· Ayton arrives, Suns hope to rise quickly
· Mavs tap brakes on inevitable comparisons
· Thunder F Anthony to opt in, take $28M
· Spurs acknowledge issue with Leonard
· Knox expects to win over New York
· Nuggets shift focus to free agency
· Sexton to wear Irving's jersey number
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2017 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 3964
Antony Dinero + 1760
Stephen Nover + 1334
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Alex Smart 56 %
Paul Bovi 55 %
Stephen Nover 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2809
Alex Smart + 2685
Kevin Rogers + 1853
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2423
Mark Franco + 475
Doc's Sports + 389
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 493
Vince Akins + 455
Paul Bovi + 422
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership