There's no hesitation in Al Jefferson's voice when he says it: No one in the NBA can guard him one-on-one without help.

Dwight Howard? Joakim Noah? No no one. Howard and Noah are not even the top contenders for being able to do so either.

"Right now at this point of time in my career it doesn't really matter who comes at me because there's always going to be more than one guy. I don't really think anyone can guard me one on one but guys do a great job of helping" Jefferson said. "Tyson Chandler's probably the only guy who can guard me one on one and he still needs help."

That's the hope that the Bobcats are currently building their offense around too. New coach Steve Clifford largely operates a four-out one-in system and they'll work from the inside out through Jefferson. Clifford had admired Jefferson from a far in previous years and says his "balance footwork fakes and touch inside" are even better when they're yours to utilize not defend.

With only one preseason game down Kemba Walker's already noticed the difference the attention his offseason addition demands but says their spacing has to get better than it’s been so far to get the most out of his skill set.

"We're pretty much playing the same just inside out now. We're still trying to get the ball up the floor still pushing the tempo but I think we're going to have a better halfcourt offense this year" Walker said. "Al attracts a lot of attention so we just have to find ways to get him the ball."


They didn't do a great job of that in the preseason opener. Jefferson scored 7 points on 3-6 shooting in 26 minutes.

But there's an adjustment that comes with adding a low post scorer like Jefferson to a team that had no one to score on the block a season ago. Gaining the proper spacing ball rotation and angles for post entries takes an acclimation period. The ball has to get inside early in the halfcourt sets and then work its way back out when the double comes which sometimes has been as soon as the possession starts.

"Obviously if you saw the other night which is what you're going to see is there were actually possessions where they had a guy in front of him and behind him before he caught the ball" Clifford said. "So we have to be able to use that to our advantage."
Their hope is they will have the perimeter shooting to make it a pick-your-poison scenario for opposing coaches. Want to double Al? OK a quick ball reversal results in a defender out of position. It's not only important for guards to knock down shots but he's also got to make quick decisive moves with the ball when he gets it.