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Al Jefferson knows he’s not good on defense

Aug 14, 2013, 8:44 AM EDT

Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson on the left low block brings a certain level of respectability to the Bobcats — they have a guy who can and will score every night, a guy whose presence inside will space the floor and give shooters open looks. That’s why they signed him for three years at $40 million.

What the Bobcats will not get from Jefferson is much defense.

Jefferson is not exactly a lock-down big man… actually he’s pretty far from that. His pick-and-roll coverage is not good at all. He even admitted as much to Zach Lowe of Grantland (you really should read the entire piece).

“It ain’t no secret around the league that I struggle with my defense,” Jefferson says. “My pick-and-roll defense is my weakness. And that’s mind over matter. I just gotta suck it up, get my ass out there, and do it.”

“Suck it up and do it.” Those are fine words, but he didn’t get his behind anywhere near that position in Utah and you can’t expect him to start now.

Charlotte is going to be better than they were last year (when they had 21 wins). That’s not saying much, but they are going to be better because Jefferson gives them a solid point of reference in on the block. Plus, Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are a year older and in theory better.

But Lowe paraphrases league executives who think Charlotte signed Jefferson because they can sell him as helping them get better without actually making the team that much better. With Jefferson as the defensive anchor the Bobcats will not be good on that end of the floor, and that will keep them in the lottery. The high lottery. And the theory goes that was the plan all along but they needed someone they could sell to fans. Jefferson does that without making them actually good. So they can get their picks.

It’s something to watch as the season.

  1. elwaysagenius - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    You seem to have left a few words off the end.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      It sounds fine to

    • money2long - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      the defensive end ?

  2. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Al Jefferson is the biggest free agent signing in Bobcats history. I’m aware that he’s not going to lead us into the playoffs, but he’s more exciting than anything else we have going on. If Bismack Biyombo ever learns the game of basketball he could be an elite defensive stopper. He has the physical talents I mean. All I know is bottoming out every season hasn’t been working for the Bobcats so let’s try to win some games!

    • money2long - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      us ? we ? let’s ?
      wow. i think i’ve found a bobcats fan. question, what to do with kidd-gilchrist if you land wiggins

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        If we… err, the Charlotte Hornets, land Wiggins the first order of business will be to throw a huge party where everybody wears their old Hornets gear and predicts the number of championships we will win. I do live in Charlotte and I attend a couple Bobcats games a year mostly because I have a buddy who finds decent tickets for $10 or less. I want them to be good but since they’ve actually been historically bad I just buy league pass and watch tons of other teams from home. I guess the Bobcats have actually made me a bigger fan of the NBA as a whole.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        I suppose I didn’t answer the question. MKG doesn’t seem to be an all-star talent but he has some Gerald Wallace potential. If I were Rich Cho I might be shopping him this season for any kind of 2014 first rounder. Otherwise just wait and see. Historically, the Bobcats have not done well in trading away players. Mostly because we draft terribly. Actually.. who’s to say we’d even take Wiggins #1?

      • somekat - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        they’ll need luck (not a hisorical trait of the bobcats) to get the first pick. They won’t be the worst team in the league this year

  3. dysraw1 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    that is if don’t count the hornets an all the star power they had

  4. adamsjohn714 - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    This is ironic. He’s a guy who grabs a lot of defensive rebounds, is average at blocking shots, decent at stealing the ball, and all without fouling close to as many times as the average big man. I’d say he’s pretty decent at defense. He is actually not so hot at offense. Below average offensive rebounds, shooting (though he takes plenty of shot attempts, mind you), and rarely gets to the free throw line to make up for it. Sounds to me like he’s bad at offense.

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