Tuesday, April 3, 2012
OK, so the Charlotte Bobcats are probably going to have a 25 percent chance of getting Kentucky big man Anthony Davis in the 2012 NBA draft. That assumes that 1) Davis comes out and 2) the Bobcats finish with the NBA's worst record, and I think both of those are pretty safe assumptions.
So, a 1-in-4 chance. That's a lot better odds than the $640-million multi-state lottery from last week, but to put it another way, the Bobcats have a 75 percent chance of NOT getting Davis.
Let's hypothetically say they do, though, rather than a still-good consolation prize like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson (both of whom were playing Monday night, too).
If the Bobcats got Davis:
1) Their huge problem in defending the paint would be mostly solved. This is what Davis would bring right away. Bismack Biyombo is a poor man's Davis at this point in his career -- a similar skill set, but not quite as good as Davis at blocking shots or rebounding or handling the ball. I like Biz, but he can't do it alone underneath. But if they could both play down low at the same time, each coming over for help-side defense blocks, the Bobcats' D immediately becomes a force.
2) They still would have problems scoring. You saw Davis's 1-for-10 shooting night Monday. He had only six points, but still was the game's most dominant player with 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and three steals.
The most flattering comparison Davis ever gets is the one to the Boston Celtics' Bill Russell, who also wasn't a natural big-time scorer but won a ton of championships because he was the NBA's best defensive player ever AND he had a lot of teammates who could score. The Bobcats have some players who can score sometimes (D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson, Corey Maggette, Kemba Walker). But they would still be lacking a go-to-when-it's-money-time scorer.
3) They would sell a lot more tickets. Davis would continue the Bobcats' youth movement and, as the No.1 pick, could become the face of the franchise if he was good enough. He would give the team more of an identity. But he wouldn't be an immediate, now-they-are-in-the-playoffs fix (see John Wall, Washington -- he couldn't move the win needle much in Washington either).
Still, Davis would make them loads better than they are. He would intimidate people inside and his mere presence would allow the Bobcats' shooters to get more open shots. It would be a whole lot of fun.
But first, those 1-in-4 (at best) odds are going to have to pay off.