BIZ BATTLES TO MAKE IT IN NBA
Bismack Biyombo’s road to the NBA didn’t get off to the easiest start. After recording the first triple-double in the history of the Nike Hoop Summit on April 9, 2011 while playing for the World Select team, tallying 12 points, 11 rebounds and a Hoop Summit-record 10 blocked shots, the 19-year-old Biyombo put the NBA on notice. He impressed the Bobcats brass so much that Charlotte swung a three-team, draft-day trade with Sacramento and Milwaukee to land Biz with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, thanks to the NBA lockout and an extended contract dispute with his overseas team, Biyombo would not officially sign with the Bobcats until December 19, 2011 – the day of the Charlotte’s first preseason game following the lockout – and became the youngest player in the NBA last season. "It’s been a long time I’ve been waiting for this,” Biyombo told me the day he signed his contract. “Thank God for this, and thanks to a lot of guys who helped put this together to get this thing done… I really appreciate that we finally got it done. I’m really excited and ready to get to work."
INTO THE FIRE
Biyombo wouldn’t get much practice time on the court with his new teammates before being thrown into the fire in an NBA preseason game just three days after signing his new deal. A little over 36 hours later he suited up on December 22 in Atlanta and finished with one point, two rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes against the Hawks – not a bad start for a guy learning on the fly. It would be a theme that continued throughout Biyombo’s rookie season, with practice time limited and little chance to grow his knowledge of the game outside of game action in the league’s compressed schedule.
Biyombo was anxious to get on the court early for the Cats, but was held to an average of 10.3 minutes in December while putting up 1.3 points and hauling down 2.7 rebounds in three games heading into the New Year. But in back-to-back games at Miami on New Year’s Day (six points, six rebounds, three blocks) and at Cleveland on January 3 (eight points, five rebounds, four blocks), Biyombo showed flashes of his potential with averages of 7.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in 21.5 minutes off the bench.
Biyombo broke out against Dwight Howard - arguably the league’s best big man -with the first double-double of his career on January 17, 2012 in a 96-89 loss in Orlando. Biyombo connected on all five of his shots for 11 points to go with 10 rebounds and four blocked shots against the perennial all-star.
Biyombo’s most memorable performance of his rookie season came in the final moments of the Cats 73-71 victory in New Orleans on March 12. Biz finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the win – with none as memorable as his swat on Trevor Ariza down the right baseline in the final moments that secured Charlotte’s win.
"That was awesome," former Head Coach Paul Silas said after the game. "For a kid 19 years old and really has not played the game this much, he retained exactly what we talked about and came up with the big block."
Biyombo finished his rookie campaign averaging 5.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 63 games, but upped those averages to 6.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 41 starts, showing that he belonged in the Bobcats starting lineup. Take a look at Biz’s April numbers and the improvement is evident - 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 blocks in 16 games to boost all of his averages in the final month of the season.
He finished the season ranked No. 9 in the NBA in blocks per game (1.83) and total blocks (115), blew away all rookies in blocks, recording 30 more than Boston’s Greg Stiemsma and was third in rebounding behind Denver’s Kenneth Faried (7.7) and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson (6.5).
GETTING OFFENSIVE IN 2012-13
Bobcats fans should be looking for more from Biyombo on the offensive end in 2012-13. He had 10 double-digit scoring performances in 2011-12, including a career-best 14 points in a 95-90 loss to the Bucks on April 6 in Milwaukee. Still, Biyombo was unable to string together back-to-back double-digit scoring games last season – something that should change in his second year.
If his results in the 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas are any indicator, Biyombo could be primed for an impact season in Charlotte in 2012-13. He averaged 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.80 blocks and shot 55.6 percent from the field in 21.0 minutes in five summer league games, helping lead the Bobcats to a 4-1 record under new Head Coach Mike Dunlap.
"I'm excited because he’s a hard worker who is always in the gym," Biyombo said of his new coach. "He's done some pretty good things for us. I think we’re in a good position with him, and he’s bringing a lot to the table… I think we’re young and can run the floor – that’s what he wants us to do."
Biyombo is also looking forward to spending some time bonding with fellow draft pick Kemba Walker both in practice and off the court this season – something they weren’t able to do much of last year.
"Honestly, this is going to help us a lot because we're really going to get to know each other and spend a lot of time together," said Biyombo. "We didn’t get a chance to do that last season at all."
In Cho we trust
Hope Resurrected: "I think I can bring an attitude to a team as far as, ‘All right, no matter what, we are not losing this game'." - Kemba Walker
"Its okay to be bad; just so long as you're bad ass." - Keetch
"I don't care if he uses a sophisticated pulley and tackle system to get his shot off if the bitch goes in."-Mustachio
Found out Biyombo has been working out with Marc Jackson... I dont know the guy as he was before my time but is this a good thing? Also there is a recent picture of Biz. I don't notice anything obvious (bulking up or slimming down)
Also Just found this on Hoopsworld, says Biz is one of the top 6 players to breakout this year. I am not sure if I would agree, I would say next year but still, good hes getting some love
The top six breakout candidates to watch in 2012-13 are:
6. Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Bobcats
Bismack Biyombo arrived in the NBA as a freak athlete with limited basketball experience and he only played 12.7 minutes a game over his first two months in the NBA, but as his minutes ramped up his game started to blossom. In January, Biyombo averaged 3.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, but in the second-half of the season, he got to play starter’s minutes and posted 6.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.
The Bobcats moved out big men Boris Diaw, Eduardo Najera and D.J. White and brought in Brendon Haywood, so Biyombo will be getting starter’s minutes all season and more of those minutes should come at the power forward position. Look for Biyombo’s defensive statistics, especially help-side blocks, to jump and for him to make another step in his offensive game. A 10 point, 10 rebound, and 2.5 block season should be in the works for the Bobcats sophomore as he starts to get noticed as one of the league’s better defensive big men.
Last edited by Plowright; 08-28-2012 at 05:02 PM.
It's hard to disagree with you after looking at the facts. But keep in mind, we are talking about someone who was drafted by the Bobcats.
I think 10 points is a bit optimistic.
I expect him to stay around that 8 point range until MKG or some other guy asserts himself as a legit first option. I'll be disappointed, though, if his rebounding doesn't hit double digits. He should also do better than 2 blocks.
Something like 8/11/2.5 should be his learning curve
I'm seeing him putting up 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks this season. Although I'd like to see him hit double figures in rebounds, he never really showed that he was much of an animal on the boards during his rookie year. Hopefully that changes this season.
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Don't see him getting double digit rebounds either just yet.
I'm kind of expecting the line that Ziggy put up of 8/8/2, which would be very good for a guy who has only played that much.
Perhaps he will surprise us and go 8/10 or something, would be nice.
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I think he has a good shot at double digit rebounding. If not then right there at it. While he never seemed like the guy to swallow up rebounds like some other big guys do, he was consistently in that 7-8 range.
By virtue of more minutes in a potentially much faster paced offense and outright improvement, I'd be somewhat disappointed if he couldn't add a couple more per game to that column. Hell JaVale McGee went from 7/4 his rookie year to 11/8 in his 4th, and he's borderline mentally deficient.
Looking at some guys who went from high school/freshman to the NBA shows they all add at least two rebounds:
Dwight went from 10 to 12.5
Cousins went from 8.6 to 11
Love went from 9.1 to 11
Ibaka went from 5.4 to 7.6 (surprisingly low career high)
Hickson went from 4.9 to 8.7 (second to third year)
Favors went from 5.3 to 6.5
Now of course that usually comes with a pretty good bump in playing time. But they also have had the opportunity to play a year at an NBA level and get conditioned, both mentally and physically, to the rigors of the professional ranks. Bismack was way behind the 8 ball compared to all of those guys with the lack of training camp and condensed season so he should have a jump in the higher-ish range of those guys. Especially when he's proven to be such a hard working machine
Last edited by SWedd523; 08-29-2012 at 12:22 AM.