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It's hard to imagine what owner Michael Jordan was thinking as he watched his team lose more games last season than he did in his final three years with the Bulls—and set an NBA record for worst winning percentage (.106). Realizing a change was necessary, Jordan has pledged a hands-off policy on personnel decisions, handing the reins to G.M. Rich Cho, who brought in talent by trade (Ben Gordon), free agency (Ramon Sessions), amnesty (Brendan Haywood) and the draft (No. 2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky).
Those moves should make the Bobcats better, but if they want to avoid setting another record for the longest losing streak—they dropped their final 23 games, three shy of the Cavs' mark—they'll need drastic improvement on defense. New coach Mike Dunlap will stress a pesky, ball hawking D, which he was known for in his 14 years as a college coach. Charlotte is headed back to the lottery, but if Dunlap can send them there with a semblance of competitiveness, he will have done his job.
COACH: Mike Dunlap (1st season with Bobcats)
2011--12 RECORD: 7--59 (5th in Southeast)
OFFENSE: 87.0 ppg (30th)
DEFENSE: 100.9 ppg (27th)
PICK-AND-ROLL OFFENSE: 19.1 ppg (26th)
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE
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