Surprise Team: Charlotte Bobcats
"Mannnn, you crazy." "Insanity." "They suck."
Maybe not verbatim, but you get the idea.
Michael Jordan has found a unique combination of players to form an intriguing team that has been pretty competitive thus far. Free agent point guard, Ramon Sessions signed with the Cats in the offseason and has impressed through the first 14 games with averages of 16.5 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game in only 29 minutes off the bench.
Kemba Walker, the Cats first round draft choice a season ago is putting up 16.5 points as well combined with 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Ben Gordon and Brendan Haywood have actually materialized into above average influencers on the court for a roster rounded out with 20 year old kids.
However, the biggest surprise for this team has been Byron Mullens. Formerly named BJ to the public when in college at Ohio State, Byron has reinvented himself in Charlotte averaging 13 points and 8 rebounds starting at center playing 33 minutes per contest. Buried on the bench in Oklahoma City for a few season, Mullens received his chance for extended playing time once he was moved to Charlotte and he is taking full advantage.
Another instant impact starter has been the 2012 first rounder Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a guy who literally covers all aspects of the game while on the floor. In 27 minutes per game, Kidd-Gilchrist fills up the stat sheet with 11 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. He's like a smaller Shawn Marion - always active and looking to make the easy play.
The Bobcats are far from a playoff team -- but they are much closer than they were a mere 7 months ago in the 2011-'12 season. With up and comer athletes rounding out their roster (Bismack Biyombo, Tyrus Thomas & Gerald Henderson) the bobcats may be a team on legitimate rise.