Bonnell: Bobcats’ Kidd-Gilchrist was invisible against the Clippers

February 27, 2013 

Five passing thoughts on a Bobcats game that showed promise, then got utterly brutal in the second half against the Clippers:

• I’m not going to punish rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for being 19 years old with a flawed skill set. If any team in the NBA should have a long view on talent development, it must be the Bobcats. Still…

He was invisible Tuesday against the Clippers in a way that sticks out even on the NBA’s worst team. He played 22 minutes, and I suspect if he weren’t drafted so high, he would have played seven. He was scoreless with one rebound and one block.

Usually when MKG has a bad game, it’s foul trouble. He never committed a foul Tuesday; he was just invisible.

Three educated guesses what’s going on:

1. His inability to make jump shots is widely known, so teams guard him exclusively for the drive.

2. He’s now played virtually the equivalent of two college seasons and he looks exhausted.

3. I don’t know whether he has a great coping mechanism when things go south.

When you play in high school with Kyrie Irving, then play on a Kentucky team that overwhelmed everyone, you’re used to things going well.

• I respect that coach Mike Dunlap’s only power is playing time. But some of his decisions feel a little mean.

Tyrus Thomas hasn’t gotten a uniform in a half-dozen games. Ben Gordon didn’t play, by coach’s decision, in two of the past three games. I get that both of these guys are culpable; Thomas doesn’t contribute much, particularly relative to his contract, and Gordon had been insubordinate.

I also get that when in doubt, play the young guys.

But humiliating these veterans – very expensive veterans, by the way – is beginning to feel like overkill.

• Gerald Henderson’s mid-post game – he could easily elevate over Chauncey Billups – was good for 24 points off 12-of-19 shooting. Sometimes I think fans under-value Henderson’s abilities.

He’s matured greatly into that guy you always want in your locker room. And he’s a player with an edge on the court the Bobcats generally lack.

• Rough night for Bismack Biyombo, huh? DeAndre Jordan goes 6-of-6 from the field. Biz goes 1-of-4 with no blocks. He missed a six-foot jump shot so badly I wanted to scream “duck” from the baseline.

• Remember Ryan Hollins? He played four minutes of mop-up for the Clippers. Back when he was a Bobcat, he was just good enough to be a tease. Being that tall and a genuine athlete means he always gets a second chance … and a third … and a fourth.

Bonnell: rbonnell@charlotteobserver.com or 704-358-5129

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