Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had an up-and-down rookie season for the Charlotte Bobcats. While the second overall pick of the 2012 NBA draft displayed his defensive talents, he was mostly a non-factor on offense. The team’s new head coach, Steve Clifford, still hasn’t lost faith in his young prospect, and according to a Q&A by the Charlotte Observer, MKG should be starting next season.
And what would you say is your projected starting group, entering camp?
“Kemba, Gerald, MKG, Al. And then the (power forward) becomes who fits in best.”
Your assessment of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist?
“Since summer league he’s been terrific. He came back to Charlotte disappointed in the way he played (in Las Vegas) and I think he’s worked hard at his skills and his conditioning level. He’s been in the weight room. And it’s paying off for him.”
Improving Kidd-Gilchrist’s jump shot has fallen on assistant coach Mark Price. How has that gone?
“Very well. One, he’s helped with the basic mechanics of the shot, which he knows a lot about. And, two, Mark knows what it takes to be a good player in this league. Mike is young. Some of those variables – 82 games (in a season), four games in five nights, he had to learn to get through.
“He can be such a good individual defender. He has to be more disciplined, which he knows, and play more consistently, which he knows. But there aren’t many people with the defensive instincts, plus the strength and quickness, that he possesses.”
While Clifford still has faith in MKG, the 19-year-old will undoubtedly have to develop. He started 77 out of 78 games he played in last season but there were still rumors floating around this summer that the team could be shopping him.