Player Profile: Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

How Can MKG Help The Bobcats?

6/30/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky), right, is introduced as the number two overall pick to the Charlotte Bobcats by NBA commissioner David Stern during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center.  Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIREMichael Kidd-Gilchrist was one of my favorite players in this year's NBA Draft. As a matter of fact, I rated MKG the second best player in my player rankings. He's a great athlete with an incredibly high motor who can get to the rim with ease, play defense, and do a lot of the little things that many stars aren't willing to do.

At 6'7'' 233 with great length, MKG has good size for an NBA small forward. He also rebounds better than one would guess based on height (7.4 per game at Kentucky). He is explosive in open space and excels in the transition game. If he has a look at the rim, he'll be there to dunk it before the defender can even try to block the shot. He makes great cuts when the ball is in the hands of others, giving his team easy looks for easy baskets. He's strong and quick enough that he'll likely be able to defend both guard positions and both forward positions in the NBA. I alluded to it before, but my personal favorite thing about this kid is that he is a relentless energizer and gets everyone on the floor to play harder. He'll undoubtedly be a fan favorite. Keep in mind that he is only 18 and has a ton of room to improve and become a star.

The most glaring weakness I saw in his game was his jump shot. He lacks confidence in his shooting ability (rightfully so), which causes him to try to drive into the lane when there's really no angle to the basket. He has the same sort of Rajon Rondo tendency to have defenders play several feet off of him but still pass on taking the mid-range jumper. He shot 25.5% from three in college, which means he'll need to significantly improve his shot to spread the floor at the NBA level. His ball handling isn't great, and he sometimes loses control during the uptempo transition push.

However, these are issues that can easily be fixed. He's a gym rat and I'm sure he'll work relentlessly to improve that shot. It's much easier to improve your jumper than it is to improve things like off-ball cuts, rebounding, and defense. He's good at all the tough things to learn, now he's just got to sit in the gym all summer firing up jump shots.

I believe Charlotte is a good fit for MKG right now. They just acquired Ben Gordon, who will be paired with Kemba Walker to create a good perimeter shooting tandem. MKG will be able to focus on doing what he does on the inside, and the defense will be spread by the range of the two sharpshooters out of UConn. The Bobcats were dead last in the NBA in field goal percentage; MKG, who shot the ball at 49.1% in college, should be able to help change that.
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