Oct. 10, 2017
Emerging Superpower Kemba Walker
No longer are the days where big men single-handedly control and dominate the NBA, it has quickly transformed into a shooters game counting on quick and athletic 'Point guard' style players with deep range to dictate your offense. In recent years many guards have set themselves apart as superstars in the NBA, and that is thanks to the fact that they've been given the key to run the offense and everything flows through them. We've seen players like Russell Westbrook, James Harden or DeMar DeRozan explode for 40 points with a handful of assists and rebounds and the latest player to do this is ; Kemba Walker.
Charlotte had high hopes for Kemba when drafting him 8th overall in the 2011 draft and those hopes got even higher when he posted a solid rookie outing for the squad with the weight of the team on his shoulders as he became starting point guard after an injury to D.J. Augustine. He was the sole bright spot in what was a train wreck of a season for Charlotte but come next year Kemba stepped his game up a whole other level, quickly adding almost another 6 PPG and close to 2 APG, this in turn helped slightly improve Charlotte's record. For the next few year Kemba battled the injury bug which had truly limited the progression to his game, it wasn't until the 2015 -16 season that we saw an uptick in Kemba's performance. Having finally had the opportunity to almost play a full season (81 games) we had finally saw improvements in his game raising his PPG up another 3 but it was really the shooting % that made a difference going from .385 to .427 which had helped lead his team to the playoffs for only the 2nd time in his career.
Now we have 2016, the year were Kemba became a different animal but the same beast. No one really looked towards Charlotte to make an impression this year and that's the exact reason why this is all so impressive, Charlotte didn't really make any changes it was the players ; more specifically Kemba Walker who have really stepped up to the plate. Charlotte off to a quick 7-3 start can thank their starting point guard for their success, his game has taken another massive leap, Kemba currently has his highest Usage rate, Offensive rating, assist %, APG, steal %, SPG, shooting %, 3's %, PPG, Points per 100 possessions and the list goes on. It's clear that Kemba has become a lot more comfortable being the guy for his team, and has found his stride of confidence, any night Kemba is able to blow up for 40 points and 10 + assists. As much as I would like to give all praise to Kemba and only Kemba for his success, you have to thank his teammates for being able to space the floor for him, hit the shoots when they're called upon and placing their trust in Kemba to lead them.
All in all watching Kemba Walker play this year has been an absolute joy for any spectator, the man is Charlotte's version of Damian Lillard an explosive athlete with the ability to shoot. The NBA season is only roughly 10 games into the season so there's still much to be expected from Kemba and his Hornets but if things continue like this he's going to be entering his name into all-star talks and best PG talks.
P.S. if you're looking for someone to lead your fantasy team I would suggest going after Walker before it's too late.