Individual Bobcats Season Reviews: Josh McRoberts

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Josh McRoberts' first full season with the Bobcats was very similar to his half season with them last year but with some subtle improvements.

Season Recap

The Bobcats got exactly what the wanted out of Josh McRoberts this season in someone to help stimulate ball distribution. There is no skill McRoberts has that exceeds his passing ability. The Bobcats like to put McRoberts up at towards the top of the key near the elbow and have him operate from there. He doesn't dribble or create for himself at a great level. He observes, looks for the open pass, and often makes that pass. If the pass is taken away, he can either fire up a jump shot or pass the ball back out and reset the play. His sniper-level accuracy on passes is so valuable to a Bobcats team that lacked players with good ball movement skills for much of the season.

When McRoberts didn't passing the ball, his second role was to stretch the floor. McRoberts' biggest change to his game this season was the amount of times he attempted long range shots. He went from one attempted three-point shot a game to almost four attempts per game, or 4.4 attempts per 36 minutes. While last season's role was primarily to move the ball and set screens he had a much more involved offensive role this season. He still did plenty of passing -- his assist percentage was actually at a career high 21.9 percent -- but he also took 200 more shots than he had ever taken in his entire career. As such you would expect a drop in his efficiency numbers. This was not the case as McRoberts true shooting percentage and effective field goal percentage remained nearly identical to his career averages.

McRoberts played a little better this season. When he was out on the court he was more versatile than he was last season and that allowed him to do more for the Bobcats. His passing was as great as always but the addition of three point shooting and attempting more shots increased his value to the team.

Where McRoberts really showed value this season that he hadn't shown last season was his defense. When given a role and put in a system that works, he improved immensely. His rotations were on time and he always seemed to know where he needed to be on the floor. He wasn't good enough to shut anybody down but just being able to contest shots and not be too much of a negative on that side of the floor was all that was needed of him.

Season Review

McRoberts exceeded expectations a bit this season. While the stats show some improvement here and there, the three-point shooting and extra shot attempts provided spacing and defensive attention that he did not previously provide.  McRoberts went from a player the Bobcats used solely as a ball movement catalyst with off-ball cuts to an integral part of their offense. There were many nights where if the ball wasn't with Kemba Walker or Al Jefferson's then it was in the hands of McRoberts' instead. That said,  McRoberts was still far away from the most important player on the Bobcats. A usage rating of 13% shows that though an integral part of the offense, he wouldn't dominate possessions.

McRoberts isn't the best ballhandler in the world, however, and sometimes he can be a bit overconfident in his passing skills or in the passing lanes he sees. Via MySynergySports.com, McRoberts turned the ball over almost 15 percent of the time when creating his shot in isolation.

These weaknesses do not mean that McRoberts had a bad season. In fact, far from it. His offensive impact was essential to this Bobcats team: He generated 729 points from his assists, more than doubling his previous career high for a season. And his improvements on defense kept him on the court in key situations. The subtle improvements in his game helped him play better than most expected this season.

Future outlook

McRoberts isn't really at a point at his career where he can improve all that much. If he were to improve, the areas to improve in that would be most helpful to the team would be his three-point shooting and dribbling. McRoberts is already a solid three point shooter but if he started to consistently make that shot at an even better rate to where he was a more consistent threat from long range, that would increase his value as a stretch 4 even more.

Grade

McRoberts exceeded expectations this season and was consistent with his play from last season. There isn't much else the Bobcats could have asked him to do without getting too crazy with expectations: A-

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