The 2012-2013 regular season for the Bobcats has been an interesting one.
After quickly matching their win total from all of last season in a mere 12 games, the Cats now find themselves slipping into a horrible losing streak, now at 11 straight losses.
After quick starts by big men Tyrus Thomas and Byron Mullens, Thomas’ season has been marred by injuries and personal family matters, and Mullens has struggled as of late.
And after starting the season on the bench looking as though he wouldn’t be much more than a non-factor for the entire season, Bismack Biyombo has been putting up solid minutes as of late, a promising sign indeed.
Biyombo, the No. 7 overall draft pick for the Bobcats just a season ago, has been playing better basketball as of late, and while his improved play hasn’t resulted in more wins for the franchise, Charlotte’s brass have to be encouraged by what they’ve seen.
Biyombo’s game against the Orlando Magic (a 107-89 loss) was by far one of his most well-rounded performances of the young season: 8 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 9 rebounds (5 offensive), 3 blocks, and 1 steal against 2 personal fouls and turnovers each in 40 solid minutes of play. While Bismack’s season high in points, rebounds, and blocks are all higher than the numbers he posted last night, it added to a string of games during which “Number 0″ has been playing much smarter and more impressive basketball. In his last five games, Biyombo has averaged 6.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, and 1.6 bpg, all numbers that are close to, or better than, his season averages up to this point: 4.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 1.7 bpg.
While these improvements are minimal at best and are very far away from being league-leading statistics for Charlotte’s young big man, they are promising to say the least. While Biyombo will never turn into an offensive genius such as Hakeem Olajuwon or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, his defensive numbers suggest that he will continue to improve enough to possibly rival those great names one day.
It will, however, take time. After a taste of such early season successes, it’s understandable that neither Michael Jordan, other management executives, or the Charlotte fan base want to wait much longer for win number eight, giving Biyombo more time to progress will pay off huge dividends for the franchise in the future. And given more time, maybe -just maybe -Biyombo’s offensive numbers will start to improve.