Jeffery Taylor (right) had given Charlotte quality minutes as a wing defender. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Injuries have been in no short supply this NBA season, with the latest claiming a member of the Bobcats' rotation. Sophomore forward Jeffery Taylor, who had been starting for Charlotte in place of the injured Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, will miss the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. The injury was first reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, and later confirmed by the team.
Taylor is a mere role player, but an important one at a position of relative weakness for Charlotte. He had ranked fourth on the team in minutes played for that very reason, as his defensive contributions and the Bobcats' general lack of alternatives on the wing offered a prime opportunity. With his injury, though, comes a bit of a puzzle for first-year head coach Steve Clifford; Taylor's season-long absence and Kidd-Gilchrist's ongoing recovery (he's slated for a January return after breaking a bone in his left hand) leave the Bobcats' cupboard unspeakably bare, with Anthony Tolliver and recent D-League call-up Chris Douglas-Roberts as the most conventional small forward options available.
Tolliver will get the start for Charlotte, though Clifford could (and may be forced to) play Gerald Henderson, Ben Gordon, and Ramon Sessions out of position on the wing to compensate if necessary. As one might surmise from that uninspiring collection of talent, there are no palatable options immediately available for the Bobcats -- especially in terms of maintaining Charlotte's quality perimeter defense at a level that would maintain their near-.500 record.