December 21, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson (9) looks on during the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena. The Warriors defeated the Bobcats 115-100. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Patience Wearing Thin: Gerald Henderson Needs to Go

I was able to attend my first ever Bobcats game the other night in Beantown, where the young and upbeat Cats took on the savvy veterans better known as the Boston Celtics.  And while the final outcome wasn’t perfect (Boston prevailed 100-89), I saw several amazing things take place throughout the night.

Rajon Rondo recorded his 26th career triple-double by posting 17 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.

Jeff Green threw down another monsterous dunk that further cemented his healthy return to the NBA.

The Bobcats had more steals than the Celtics, as well as less turnovers, less personal fouls, more free-throw attempts, and a better shooting percentage from three-point land.

And Gerald Henderson once again proved as to why and how he doesn’t fit into Charlotte’s system for the future.

On the surface, Henderson’s numbers from the other night look respectable: 10 points (4-of-8 shooting), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.  If you dig deeper, though, you’ll see that Henderson had a rather pitiful night; add his turnover, team-high four personal fouls, and team-worst minus-15 and you’re starting to see the bigger picture…but there’s still more.

Hendo’s shooting percentage (50% from the field, 100% from the line) looks as solid as any that I’ve seen from a shooting guard as of late, except for when you watch the game film.  Henderson was 2-of-2 from the field on layups, 1-of-1 on mid-range jump shots, and 1-of-5 on contested-turnaround-fadaway jump shots.  Even worse, Henderson began taking these ill-advised shots a mere minute and a half into the game.  He finished the first quarter 0-of-4 from the field, helping to lead Charlotte to a 28% field-goal percentage after the game’s first 12 minutes.

To make matters worse, Henderson committed a pointless and even more ill-advised flagrant foul on Kevin Garnett halfway through the second quarter that probably resulted in Kevin Garnett making more references to breakfast cereals on the court.

Henderson’s horrible shot selection along with excessive ball-control “helped” the Bobcats limp to a 56-45 halftime defecit.

Henderson is an extremely talented ball player; he can drive to the lane just as well as some of the league’s best guards (as apparent by his short-range field-goal percentage), but his ill-advised fadaways, turnarounds, and “shot-clock-winding-down” ball-control does nothing to help Charlotte.  The Bobcats excel best in sets that involve plenty of ball movement and high-percentage looks inside.  If one were to try and slow the game down as well as take over a game at the same time (a la Dirk, Kobe, or LeBron), they usually wait until the third quarter to try and put the game away.  Gerald thought it would be a good idea to try this method 90 seconds into a game against a team that consists of KG, Rondo, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Brandon Bass, and the ever-improving rookie Jared Sullinger.

Henderson is in the last year of his contract, and all signs point towards him not returning next season (as apparent by the Bobcats not giving him a contract extention before the season began).  Henderson is young and athletic, yet clearly hasn’t learned much in terms of on-court awareness or team dynaminc in his time in the NBA.  If he hasn’t learned it by now, I don’t see much room for improvement in the future.

It would be nice to see Gerald Henderson in one of 29 different uniforms by February 21st, with a 2nd-round pick for the 2013 Draft headed Charlotte’s way.  His time in Charlotte is ending, and I’m completely fine with that.

Tags: 2013 NBA Draft Charlotte Bobcats Gerald Henderson Trade

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