I feel like there is an undercurrent of distaste for MKG growing among Bobcats fans, pretty much all related to his jumpshot and how he affects the offense. There are some grumblings to start Jeff Taylor instead and I get the sense that if MKG struggles out of the gate (he looked ineffective in Summer League and the one pre-season game and he didn't finish the season that strong) those cries will grow louder.
Personally, I'm a pretty big MKG fan. I thought his performance at the Team USA camp was more indicative of his abilities than either Summer League or the pre-season game. I also think that, for whatever his shortcomings, teams generally play better on both offense and defense when he's out there (4.9 points per 100 possessions better to be exact). He's also a good rebounder and good defender. His jumper is pretty much his only negative, but it's all anybody wants to talk about.
One thing I am worried about is his mental make-up. The stuff about telling Coach Cal he didn't think he was good enough for the NBA and the quotes Bonnell has gotten this summer have me concerned that his self-confidence is trending downwards and that it could really affect his game. We've seen that happen with enough players on this team to know it's a real issue.
See this Bonnell piece for more info: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/201...l#.UldSVlDEM3A
The last thing this team needs is MKG out there worried and over-thinking.
What are your guys' thoughts on MKG heading into his second season?
I was so ecstatic when the team selected MKG a little over a year ago. For me, it was the single greatest day in the history of the Bobcats, at least as far as my fanhood was concerned. But I'm really, really concerned right now. His jumper is completely dysfunctional. I'm glad he's working with Price and I hope he's able to develop at least a passable jumper, but I don't subscribe to the theory that just because MKG is young and committed that he'll ever shoot the ball even remotely well. Like I said in another thread, it if it was that easy every player in the league would at a minimum would have a decent jumper and mid-range game.
Assuming MKG can progress as a shooter, it will literally take years. This is where his youth is beneficial, but again, there's still no guarantee he'll ever shoot at a level where teams don't play off him completely.
On top of that, he also currently lacks the ability to create his own shot and shoot off the bounce, much less make it.
He's just a tragically flawed offensive player. It's a shame too, because the rest of his abilities have the potential to be all-star caliber. But I'm now highly skeptical he'll ever develop enough of a jumper to come anywhere close to reaching his potential. Like you mentioned, I also think it's wrecking havoc on his self-confidence. He's not an arrogant kid by nature. That helps because he'll bust his ass to get better, but it hurts because the frustration and doubt will eat him alive.
I'm really hoping I'm wrong and hoping for the best, but at this point I'm highly skeptical. Being young and hardworking only guarantees he'll try his hardest. It doesn't guarantee he'll get significantly better. Busted jumpers have wrecked many a career. MKG wouldn't be the first or the last.
Twan's Kin (10-10-2013)
I'll preface this by saying that I was not high on selecting MKG, at least not with the #2 pick. I'm not a big fan of picking wings with really high draft picks, especially not really young projects like MKG. I wanted Andre Drummond, also a really young project but a very big and athletic freak of one.
That being said, I'm not a member of this undercurrent you speak of and I'm not really concerned. I definitely haven't seen anything that prompts me to call for Taylor to start over him (nothing against Taylor). His jumpshot is terrible but it's mostly terrible looking. He hasn't really given a sample size big enough IMO to say that he absolutely cannot shoot. I think he'll always have a terrible looking shot but can get it up to a respectable percentage. It'll take time since young guys tend to dwell on flaws and over analyze themselves. I wouldn't take Barnes, Lillard, Beal and a bunch of others over him still.
He's just not a guy that is going to look good on a really bad team because his game isn't about numbers as much as it is playing hard, competitive basketball. He really just needs a Batman to his Robin, then he'll remind people of those Pippen comparisons again. That's why I really, really, really don't want to lose out on a franchise talent in this draft because we don't have a franchise talent yet.
If you're absolutely starved of Bobcat's musings, my blog is here: http://bobcatatonic.wordpress.com/
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
i think it was mistake to take him over drummond and i probably would have taken beal over him also. with that said, he was the pick so what do i think now?
not worried a bit about him. he is a down the road championship piece. if he is your best player or the 2nd focus on offense, you aren't going far. but, if he is the 3rd or 4th guy on offense and a centerpiece of a holy terror defense, you are in good shape.
i find the expectations of some comical regarding his shot. just because you hire a shooting coach does not mean that you become an ok shooter in one summer. and the idea that "he should just scrap the shot and start over" is beyond amusing, so much that it is not really worth explaining. if you don't get it, you don't get it.
it will be a series of small changes that when looking back will be a huge change in both form and success in his shooting. will he ever be an all around threat from 22 ft, most likely not. but could he get to where he is a corner three threat and fairly consistent from 17 ft in, sure.
I'm not too worried about MKG. Even though I'm forced to cringe every time I see his shot, I know it isn't something that can be successfully changed at the flip of a switch. He'll likely never have a passable pull-up game, but simply getting to the point where he can catch and shoot or have a defender respect a triple threat shot fake will be monumental to his game. I just hope his confidence will take him that far. We all know he has the work ethic.
All of these issues were totally predictable. It's not as if it was a secret that he wasn't a good shooter. I never liked the pick from day 1. Shooting is a fundamental basketball skill and when you don't possess that skill it's going to be difficult to ever be a great player. As I've said before, I don't think he's garbage. He can be a productive player to some degree, but I doubt he'll ever live up to his draft position. If we'd taken him between 5-8 I'd have been fine with it but he was definitely a reach at #2, especially with guys like Barnes and Beal on the board.
The truth is he's right when he questions his decision to leave early. He wasn't ready. He would have been better served staying in college and working on his game in an environment where there's more practice, fewer games and lower expectations. Now he's got the pressure of being the #2 overall pick on his shoulders and it's going to be tough to thrive under weight of that. I hope it works out for him, and us, but I've had these concerns since the moment we drafted him.