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MKG’s Strong Defensive Presence Shown Upon Return

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After a fractured left hand caused Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to miss six weeks of action, his return hasn’t been unnoticed around the NBA.  Many of us rarely hear about MKG’s performance on a nightly basis, well for obvious reasons.  Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t an elite scorer, and we knew that throughout the 2011-2012 season.  Where his game really shines is on the opposite end of the court.  His high energy and lockdown defense earned him his spot as the #2 overall draft selection, owned by the soon to be Charlotte Hornets.  While many analysts were quick to label him a bust after his mediocre rookie season, they seem to be changing their minds as MKG’s true presence both on and off the court are beginning to show. 

With MKG sidelined for 19 games, the Bobcats seemed to be slipping out of playoff contention very quickly.  Before Kidd-Gilchrist was injured, Charlotte found themselves holding the 6th seed in the Eastern conference.  Upon his return, they had fallen to the last playoff spot after a 8-2 stretch, one game away from going back into the draft lottery.  Along with MKG, fellow swingman Jeffery Taylor suffered a season ending injury, leaving the Bobcats without an athletic small forward.  Since Kidd-Gilchrist has been back, Charlotte has won 3 of their last 5 games looking ahead with the hopes of becoming a playoff team.  That begins another debate, whether the Bobcats should tank and go for another talent in this year’s all-star draft class, or roll the dice and fight for a playoff spot.  But for the sake of MKG, his stock is rising in the NBA.  He’s only averaging 5.8 points per game since his return, however, it is MKG’s defensive presence that has allowed Charlotte to put some more checks in the win column.

The following video is every defensive possession where Kidd-Gilchrist guarded one of the NBA’s elite scorers, Carmelo Anthony.  On the night, Anthony scored 20 points total, but only 4 of them occurred while MKG was up in his face.  GM’s take notice of this type of high energy play, and Charlotte has been quick to decline any trade rumors involving Kidd-Gilchrist.  When asked about MKG’s performance after his return, Charlotte’s head coach Steve Clifford had this to say:

“You can see value of having a guy like Kidd-Gilchrist.  People don’t always understand the energy and intensity and those kinds of things. Those are skills…He’s our middle linebacker.”


You also can’t deny his athleticism on offense.  While MKG has been working on his mid-range jumper, one aspect of his game has definitely gotten better.  His slams, with authority!

 

@KoryHenryKSR

Article written by Kory Henry

"We will kick, pass, and run, til the battle is won!" Bleeding blue since 1990. @KoryHenryKSR

8 Comments for MKG’s Strong Defensive Presence Shown Upon Return



  1. Todd
    7:21 pm January 20, 2014 Permalink

    “His return hasn’t went unnoticed”. Can’t anyone speak English?



    • Mildred Jenkins
      7:43 pm January 20, 2014 Permalink

      Sadly, not on this site. They’ve got guys claiming to be law students, PR majors, and lawyers who keep making the same egregious grammatical errors over and over again. The housewife I can understand. The others have no excuse, including Drew and Jones.
      On another note, I never read ANY analyst claiming MKG was a bust. He got rave reviews almost from the get-go. Where are you getting this stuff, Korey?



  2. Bizarro World
    7:38 pm January 20, 2014 Permalink

    If the Bobcats tank maybe they can get another high draft pick so they can get Doug McDermott!! Lol…I can’t get enough of that YouTube video of them drafting Cody last year.



  3. GoCats2
    7:50 pm January 20, 2014 Permalink

    An old favorite of everyone…Chuck Hayes had a double-double tonight in only 26 minutes of action.



  4. yargamel
    8:00 pm January 20, 2014 Permalink

    He was one of my favorite UK players ever. Guys like MKG and old school Rodman who go out there and hustle the entire game without really caring about accolades are some of the most fun players to watch.



  5. me
    8:14 pm January 20, 2014 Permalink

    Guy takes a fade-away jump shot 24 feet from rim and that’s great defense?

    No one with any credibility has called him a bust, you are reading fans comments or blowhard commentator. Hasn’t scored much? Yeah, no kidding he’s like the 4th option on the team and isn’t asked to do that. Give him the shots that Kemba takes and he’d be averaging solid numbers.



  6. NBA league pass
    8:20 pm January 20, 2014 Permalink

    one of the main reasons we won in 2012 is that we always had the best and second best defenders on the floor at all times with Davis and MKG. To say we’re missing that on this team is an understatement.



  7. BF
    2:08 am January 21, 2014 Permalink

    “Before Kidd-Gilchrist was injured, Charlotte found themselves holding the 6th seed in the Eastern conference. Upon his return, they had fallen to the last playoff spot after a 8-2 stretch, one game away from going back into the draft lottery. Along with MKG, fellow swingman Jeffery Taylor suffered a season ending injury, leaving the Bobcats without an athletic small forward. Since Kidd-Gilchrist has been back, Charlotte has won 3 of their last 5 games looking ahead with the hopes of becoming a playoff team.”

    Huh? They were the 6th seed, he was gone for 6 weeks, then went 8-2 to “fall” to an 8th seed? Let’s write this another way: The Bobcats (18-25) were 7-12 when MKG was recovering from hand surgery, dropping 8 of their last 9 before his return. Since back in the lineup they are 3-2 with wins over the lowly Knicks and Magic and last night’s impressive win over the 4th place Raptors. While he “only” had a 5-4-1-1-1 stat line, the +19 +/- highlights the value he brings to the team in terms of defense and leadership.