Steve Clifford wants the Charlotte Bobcats to compete for 48 minutes. The Bobcats new head coach says the team already has a nucleus of young, above-average competitors.
To Clifford, competing starts on the defensive end.
“Defense will be the major emphasis when we meet for training camp,” said Clifford in a radio interview on WFNZ Charlotte. “We’re going to be consistent and we’re going to work at it.”
It wasn’t uncommon for teams to have their best scoring nights against the Bobcats. They allowed 102.7 points on average last season, which was good for 29th in the league.
The Bobcats have a list of different needs that they won’t be able to address at once with the fourth pick in next month’s draft. But they can find a player who will fit into Clifford’s system from Day 1.
Indiana guard Victor Oladipo is arguably the best perimeter defender in this year’s draft. He started the season out of the discussion of being a lottery pick. But as June approaches, he’s leaped into the conversation of being a top-5 pick.
Oladipo possesses prototypical size and length for an NBA shooting guard. He’s 6’4 with a 6’9 wingspan and a chiseled upper body. He has elite athleticism, good lateral quickness and a tireless motor.
Oladipo frequently guarded the opposition’s best scorer and has the ability to defend three positions in the NBA. Defensively and physically, he’s very similar to one of the league’s best perimeter defenders in Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Offensively, Oladipo made big strides to improve his perimeter shooting and scoring. While he still has a ways to go to become a consistent threat, Oladipo shot 75% on free throws and 44% from three. He’s very good at moving without the ball and hitting the glass, where hee averaged 2.6 offensive rebounds.
His struggles come into effect when he’s guarded to be a consistent shooter or asked to make a play off the dribble. While he is capable of getting into the paint thanks to his speed, he’s a limited ball-handler and doesn’t seem to be comfortable playmaking.
Oladipo’s bottomline is that he competes.
He doesn’t compete just once every couple of games, but every single minute on both sides of the ball. He established himself as the glue of a strong Indiana team last season. He fits the blue-collar style of play that Clifford wants going forward, and could be high on the Bobcats draft board because of it.
While his questionable shooting is worthy of skepticism towards his starter potential, Oladipo is one of the few players in this year’s draft that you know what you’re going to get from. With the way the level of competition rises in the biggest games, Oladipo would certainly be a player that Clifford and the Bobcats wouldn’t mind going to war with.
Which Of These Players Would You Rather The Bobcats Draft?
- Victor Oladipo (27%, 24 Votes)
- None of the Above (2%, 2 Votes)
- Ben McLemore (30%, 27 Votes)
- Anthony Bennett (21%, 19 Votes)
- Alex Len (20%, 18 Votes)
Total Voters: 90