By Trace Walker (Follow @trace937)
Photo Credits to Sam Sharpe of USA Today Sports
The 2013 NBA draft was not the most star-studded draft in NBA history. In retrospect, the best players to come out of it were Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Steven Adams. With the fourth pick of the draft, the Charlotte Bobcats selected Cody Zeller out of Indiana University.
Since then, Zeller hasn’t quite lived up to producing the numbers that are expected from a top-five pick. That’s okay though–Zeller knows his role on the team and plays it well; providing tremendous hustle, decent rim protection, and some rim rattling dunks.
Cody is currently having his best season as a pro; averaging nearly 11 points, a significant increase from his career average of 8 PPG. What’s impressive about this, is that Zeller basically gets zero plays called specifically for him. Cody mainly scores after initiating a pick for his teammates and rolling to the basket where the ball handler hits him for a dunk or layup. Other than that, Zeller gets his touches and buckets by fighting for 50/50 balls and offensive rebounds.
Cody Zeller Doing Work:
1) Defensive Rebound.
2) Runs Floor.
3) Offensive Rebound.
4) Offensive Rebound. pic.twitter.com/l89KknTE0x
— Nicholas Sciria (@Nick_Sciria) December 4, 2016
This play is a perfect example of what Zeller has been doing all season, pointed out by @Nick_Sciria, Cody battles KAT for the defensive rebound, runs the floor then gets two offensive rebounds, eventually setting Kemba up for a layup.
Cody Zeller can often be forgotten on the Hornets because his determination and grit isn’t as pretty as Kemba’s step-back or as smooth as Nic Batum but Zeller is still a crucial piece of the team. To show Charlotte’s appreciation for Cody, I made this video which showcases some of his best plays so far this season.
The Hornets are back in action in Zeller’s home state of Indiana tonight, December 12th 2016, catch the game at 7:00.