Al Jefferson was a beast last season for Charlotte — he averaged 21.8 points on 50.9 percent shooting, pulled down 10.8 rebounds a game, plus he worked hard on defense and had the best year of his career at that end. That was enough to get the Hornets to the playoffs and Jefferson on to Third Team All-NBA.
But come the playoffs he was slowed by plantar fasciitis, enough so that he missed Game 4 against the Heat.
The only real cure for plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue band that runs along the bottom of the foot) is rest, and Jefferson told the Hornets’ official site he got that this summer and is good to go. He was back at the team facilities taking part in optional workouts with no restrictions.
He also said his focus this season was to improve on the defensive end. I said above that he worked harder on defense than he ever had but he’s never going to be a defensive force. However, he was solid as part of a top 10 defense with the Bobcats last season. Coach Steve Clifford deserves a lot of credit for that.
This season Charlotte should take a step forward, not only making the playoffs but being a threat in the first round. The Bobcats lacked offensive creativity on the wings last season but add Lance Stephenson to go with Kemba Walker at the point and that should give them points plus more defense.
Add that to a healthy Jefferson in the post and the Bobcats are going to be fun to watch next season.