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Andre Iguodala would be a great model for how Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should play

Rick Bonnell
Rick Bonnell covers the Charlotte Hornets and the NBA for the Charlotte Observer. You can reach him by email.

Charlotte Bobcat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist frequently reviews video of how Andre Iguodala does his job and occasionally gets the chance to pick Iguodala’s brain on playing the small forward position.

That is very savvy for one of the youngest players in the NBA.

Iguodala is precisely who MKG should aspire to be: Not a great natural scorer, but a player who gets how defense can become offense. A guy who turns energy and grit into a “skill” in a way that becomes a sustainable career. And if along the way that buys him time to develop a real jump shot, then bravo.

Several reporters were talking to shooting guard Gerald Henderson after the Toronto game last week and MKG came up in the conversation. Henderson said Kidd-Gilchrist should stop worrying about what’s wrong with his jump shot and continue to attack the rim with assertiveness.

Henderson believes if MKG applies what he does best – a way-above-average-handle for a small forward and a powerful body – that he can be a factor offensively, at least in the short run.

I agree MKG’s bread-and-butter has to be his explosive drives. That’s precisely what Iguodala was early in his career – a dynamic physical force.

But Iguodala expanded his game so opponents couldn’t just guard him one way. That’s what will make or break MKG over the next 10 years.

Five stray thoughts on the NBA and the Bobcats (and college basketball a bit)

• I got a chuckle reading Eric Prisbell’s USA Today story on college basketball adopting an NBA-like definition of the hand-check rule. Every coach Prisbell interviewed had some negative or wary response to the idea.

I know change is hard, but how can anyone think the muggings allowed last season in college basketball make the game more watchable? Louisville was the favorite to win the NCAA tournament because coach Rick Pitino figured out how to commit so many marginal fouls that the refs were befuddled which ones to call.

Not suggesting that speaks less of Pitino. Simply saying it’s way overtime for the college game to observe and evolve into a more fluid, athletic sport again.

• I’m glad the Bobcats are being deliberate in bringing back center Al Jefferson. They don’t need any false starts or relapses, particularly with so important an asset.

• If the Knicks crash and burn, it defines a fantasy-league culture. If you build your team around Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire – similar players/similar flaws/similar price tags – you get these kinds of teams. I just hope coach Mike Woodson doesn’t take the fall for parts that don’t fit together well.

• I wonder if Dwight Howard understands how pretentious he sounds, talking about himself in the third person.

• The refs take far too much grief over the new basket-interference rule. Yeah, occasionally an attempt at a putback becomes an unintentional violation. But for every one of those, there used to be five intentional bat-the-balls to inhibit fast breaks.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell
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