KEMBA WALKER – HOW TO SURVIVE AS AN UNDERSIZED IN LAND OF THE GIANTS!
To be successful being undersized in the highest level of basketball in the world what’s basically is the Land of Giants, you must be special. Either it’s athleticism, quickness, crazy handles, basketball IQ or ability to shoot with high %.
Only 26 of 442 players who have played at least 1 game this season in NBA is 6’1” (1.85 m) or shorter. (one of the best known short players in NBA Isaiah Thomas hasn’t played in this season yet (hip)).
KEMBA WALKER ”Heart and soul of the Hornets franchise” :
- 1st player in Hornets history with a 60-point game;
- 2nd player 6’1″ or shorter with a 60-point game in NBA history (Allen Iverson)
- 2nd player in NBA history with a 60-point game against the 76ers (Wilt Chamberlain) (ESPN Stats & Info).
Walker’s game against Philadelphia 76ers was the first 60 point game by a NBA player since James Harden on January 30, 2018.
Article is finished before Charlotte vs. Indiana game so probably Kemba Walker won’t be the best scorer in NBA tomorrow 🙂
After little bit more than 1 month in new 2018/19 NBA season Walker is new NBA scoring leader: 29.6 PPG (1st). (To be precise Walker 29.563 vs. Curry 29.500)
Kemba shoots a lot:
Leading NBA in FGA: 21.6 (1st).
3P FGA: 10.4 (3rd);
3P FGM: 4.1 (2nd).
Among league’s TOP 20 scorers he’s the 4th best three-point shooter – 38.9% (behind Curry, Lebron and Kyrie).
USG% (usage percentage is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor.): 30.8% (6th). (players 200+ minutes played). As I mentioned earlier Kemba is ‘Heart and soul of the Hornets franchise”.
Most of his shots he creates by himself: FG UAST 69.6% (19th in NBA) (players 20+minutes per game).
20th/21th best passer in the League – 6.1 assists per game. Same amount of assists per game with the second best scorer in the NBA at the moment Curry.
In his 8 years in the league (28 years old now) we can see the increase for PTS/FGA/FG% almost every next season.
It’s not surprising that most of the points that 6’1” tall players (both Walker and Lowry) score comes from 3-point shot.
Interesting that despite Walker (NBA leading scorer 29.6) and Lowry (NBA best passer 10.2 AST per game) being different type of players they score similar amount of points from similar situations.
% of total points scored distribution by type of shot.
Kemba can score various ways. Lightning quick (AI, D.Rose, Wall) + ability to change a pace so quickly (slow-fast-stop) + ball-handling + ability to make shot attempt in very short period of time + confidence that coaches and teammates trust him = leading scorer in NBA at the moment. Shot = no hesitation. Despite being ”score first” player often creates lot of good shot opportunities for his teammates (6.1 assists per game).
- Pick-and-roll. He has answers for all the pick-and-roll defenses.
He often rejects the screen and because of his quickness he is able to catch defender by surprise.
Under = three-pointer. No hesitation.
Flat/Drop. If screener’s defender plays too low = 3-point shot (one of few examples of attacking FLAT pick-and-roll defense).
ICE. ”Snake” + step-back mid-range pull-up jumper.
Switch = taking advantage of his lightning quickness.
- Despite being much shorter than PF/C position players this season he is very effective finishing around the rim and attacking big men.
- Transition. Coast-to-coast. Because of his quickness he can effectively attack defense before it is set.
- Drive to the basket. 1vs1. Either he attacks same height or taller defenders overall he’s very effective player 1vs1.
- Off-ball screens. Because of his ability to release his shot quickly he can use off-ball screens very effectively and punish defender making defensive errors.
- Decision making could be better sometimes.
- Consistence. Had both 60 and 7 point game this season…/Kemba plays much better at home games this season (FG% 14.9! better @ home). He is emotional player.
”Walker had an effective field goal percentage of 56.7 percent in the first half of games, but just 46.6 percent in the second half. That was the biggest drop-off among 210 players with at least 200 field goal attempts in each half. But Walker’s six overtime 3-pointers (on just seven attempts) led the league.” (NBA.com) 2017/18 season.
CHARLOTTE HORNETS CAN’T FINISH GAMES IN CLUTCH-TIME. MARCH 19th…
Hornets can’t finish games in clutch-time. And that’s not only problem for this season.. 6 of 8 their losses was with 4 or less points… There’s also bad luck involved.
GAME 4. After 3 painful losses Hornets will be very motivated against their 4th game vs. 76ers this season.
It’s not only about team’s leader and best scorer is leading NBA points per game or having historic 60 points game. There could be even defensive strategy letting opponent’s leading scorer to score more but not letting others to be involved…
But this is not a case about Kemba Walker. Being Hornets’ 6th best paid player who plays the best basketball in his career at the moment he simply needs more help from others. For example, Batum who is teams best paid player (24 mil.$) this season definitely not playing his best basketball.
If someone before the season tells me that Hornets will be 8-8 after first 16 games I wouldn’t be surprised. Kemba the best scorer in NBA after the first month? It’s surprise.
Walker is great example for whole basketball world that despite you height and size you can be very successful. He can motivate lot of young players just like Iverson did. To all young basketball players: work hard and good things will happen & never give up until you succeed!