Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Poised for Breakout Season

As the second overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, expectations are high for former Kentucky Wildcat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. In his rookie season, MKG averaged 9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the Bobcats. This was not quite the instant impact Charlotte fans had hoped for. They were not the only ones disappointed.

While a bruised hamstring and bloody nose have temporarily sidelined Kidd-Gilchrist already in this young season, he has managed to show signs of the energy and determination that became his trademark during Kentucky’s run to a National Championship. Scott Rafferty:

This wasn’t a breakout game in the scoring column, nor did he go nuts and flirt with a 5×5, but Kidd-Gilchrist’s defense down the stretch on Carmelo Anthony was a joy to watch and proved just how valuable he is to this young Bobcats squad.

Watch some of Kidd-Gilchrist’s lockdown defense on New York’s Carmelo Anthony in Tuesday’s 102-97 win over the Knicks. MKG limited the superstar to just 9 points on 3-8 shooting. MKG has said he patterns his game after stat-stuffer Andre Iguodala. Peter Walsh:

“I watch Andre Iguodala a lot,” says Kidd-Gilchrist. “He’s not the best shooter on the court, but he does all the little things. I talk to him a lot also and I think that’s really helped me a lot this year so far.” In an even more coincidental twist, Iguodala’s rookie averages of 9.0 points on 49 percent shooting, 5.7 boards, and 3.0 assists are nearly identical to MKG’s rookie line.

Kidd-Gilchrist is showing signs of improvement, working on on his much-maligned jumpshot with Bobcats assistant Mark Price and hitting the weight room to improve his conditioning. With his tireless work ethic and dedication, many believe he is developing to meet expectations and poised for a breakout season.

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