When Bismack Biyombo put up 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a loss to Milwaukee back in early April, the performance did not really resonate around the league for one fact: this was the Charlotte Bobcats and they were mired in an NBA worst 23-game losing streak.
But remove the Cats’ catastrophic seven whole wins from the season and you are left with a development plan still in the making as new head coach Mike Dunlap figures out exactly what kind of mess he got himself into.
Thankfully the potential and upside of Biyombo is worth taking interest in.
What has transpired since Dunlap took over the head coaching job on June 22, is the beginning of a common bond between Dunlap and Biyombo this summer that should pay off during the season.
“Not everyone wants to work with you as much as he does. I always appreciate someone who is going to do that,” Biyombo said about his offseason development under Coach Dunlap.
“I’m learning a lot about the game. We didn’t have the same kind of practices last year.”
What practice — knowing the league jammed 66 games into a five month stretch where back-to-back-to-back games were more common than sleeping in or getting extra shots up at practice is still astounding. And for a player like Biyombo — the 6-foot-9 big man who turns 20-years old later this month — that is exactly where his development will come from.
Biyombo averaged 5.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and just less than two blocked shots a game last season for Charlotte, after spending the three previous seasons playing in Spain.
“I just tell him to rebound and optimize his positioning in the lane,” Dunlap said. “We want him really strong at the rim (as a shot-blocker) so that people can’t take advantage of us.”
From summer league to his offseason workouts, this has been a summer of growth for Biyombo.
It is a step in the right direction for Charlotte.