As Free Agency Nears, Walker Takes His Game to a Whole New Level
Over his past two games, Kemba Walker has put up 103 points.
Crazy as it sounds, his 60 point performance was all for naught as the Charlotte Hornets weren’t able to squeak a game past the new-look Philadelphia 76ers. On Monday night, the Hornets were right back at it and the ball was squarely in Walker’s hands as the Boston Celtics rolled into the Spectrum Centre.
The All-Star point guard exploded again, turning the clock back to his UConn days – Kardiac Kemba took the game over.
Putting up 43-points to edge the Celtics by a narrow 117-112 margin, Walker shot 14-for-25, drilling clutch shot after clutch shot, with no basket bigger than the contested three-pointer with 34-seconds remaining in regulation pushing the Hornets lead to six. With the win in hand, the Hornets improved to .500 on the season, standing pat at 8-8, good for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
“This is my s—,” Walker appeared to shout as he dropped the biggest shot of the game in an electric Spectrum Centre.
In a game so analytically advanced, few natural scorers can single-handedly lead their teams to victories nowadays.
Of course, there is the unfair LeBron James advantage, or the occasionally Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson games when the Splash Brothers happen to go off from beyond the arc. But performances like these are rarely seen from guards who simply aren’t able to shoot the three so effectively they may as well have their eyes closed. We saw it a couple of seasons ago from Isaiah Thomas, who transformed into the most lethal fourth quarter scorer in the NBA. We see it from time to time from Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving – in fact we saw it from Kyrie Irving just a few nights ago as he single-handedly willed his team past the first place Toronto Raptors.
Now, it’s Kemba Walker’s time.
As Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets are reportedly “hellbent”, Walker is proving to be not only one of the best players heading toward free agency, but one of the best closers in the game of basketball today. On a Charlotte team that – let’s be honest – lacks any sort of legitimate talent around Walker, Kardiac Kemba has taken his game to a whole new level. On opening night, he poured in 41 points. He has scored at least 30 points in four other games and currently leads the league averaging 29.6 points per contest.
“You can’t go under screens, you can’t give him free throws, you can’t waste bonus fouls,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens following Walker’s masterful encore performance. “You can’t lose him in pick and rolls. You name it, everything has to be good. He’s using so many of their possessions and he’s doing it at such an efficient rate.”
Improving his ability of moving without the basketball and boasting a true shooting percentage of 60.6-percent has allowed Walker to up his game this year. He has etched his name into the conversation of top point guards in the game of basketball and as the season goes on, the Hornets will continue to heavily rely on Kardiac Kemba to bring them back to the playoffs.