It’s universally understood that the Charlotte Bobcats aren’t a very good basketball team (I’m being kind), but even the prospects of “not very good” took a hit with an injury announcement by the team on Thursday.
PRESS RELEASE: Brendan Haywood out at least 12 weeks – diagnosed w/ stress fracture that will require surgery. http://t.co/oTvLVZrDPM
— Charlotte Bobcats (@bobcats) October 10, 2013
In a vacuum, the loss of a pure role player like Brendan Haywood is a relatively small issue. After all, he has career averages of 6.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and at 33 years old, his best days are clearly behind him. However, Haywood was presumably going to be called upon to do a variety of things for an already marginal roster, and his absence creates a bit of a hole, both on the court and in the locker room.
Al Jefferson was the team’s primary acquisition in the off-season, and while the addition of “Big Al” will unquestionably help the offense (by leaps and bounds), he is a well-known disaster (to put it bluntly) on defense. At this stage, Haywood is a defense-only center, and he was penciled in behind Jefferson for support on the glass and as a rim protector. Now, the Bobcats are forced to turn exclusively to Bismack Biyombo for this role, and the 21-year-old (yes, he’s only 21) has been a major disappointment in his first 2 seasons.
It’s important to begin with the acknowledgement that Charlotte isn’t exactly a contender, anyway, but Haywood missing 3+ months is still a measurable blow to that young roster.