The Eastern Conference has started off hot this season. Just look at Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry in Toronto.
But one player that you can make the argument for being the best player in the East so far this year is Kemba Walker.
This is Kemba Walker’s eighth season with the Charlotte Hornets and he can be the best offensive threat in the East through his ability to score and win games. Only two weeks into the season, Kemba sits second in the league averaging 30 points per game. He also is second in the league with 36 three pointers made. On opening night against the Bucks, Kemba Walker scored 41 points while shooting 51 percent on 29 shots from the field.
Walker has a killer signature step-back jumpshot which especially allows him to create space for the open shots. He has the ability to knock down shots consecutively using that move and has shown that consistently. He brought that move with him to the NBA from UConn when he was drafted back in 2009.
(We all remember what he did there…)
The acrobatic point guard has one of the strongest crossovers in the league. He’s quick to split his defenders from on-ball screens, from which he always seems to make something positive happen. Walker can get his shooters, Malik Monk and Nicolas Batum most notably, open for shots when he penetrates to the rim. The Hornets are second in the league in three pointers made on the young year and that has a lot to do with it.
Put this Kemba Walker shake-n-shimmy on loop forever. pic.twitter.com/L4sg6VXjL0
— FOX Sports South (@FOXSportsSouth) October 27, 2018
Before his team’s latest win against the Miami Heat, Walker scored 23 points or higher in each of the previous 7 games. Kemba has one of the best pull-up jumpers in the NBA.Walker is shooting 46 percent from the field and 41% from behind the arc and has looked great from the mid-range, as expected.
There are other players playing grade-A basketball in the Eastern Conference that always seem to get more recognition than Walker. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the undefeated Bucks, Kyrie Irving and Jason Tatum leading the Celtics, and the Sixers’ with Joel Embiid. But Kemba Walker is underrated and has been underrated for some time. Walker may not have the strongest of teams in the NBA, but some Hornets players (looking at you Cody Zeller, Marvin Williams, and Tony Parker), have to progress and stay healthy to help them make the NBA Playoffs.
Walker has always been the head honcho of the franchise since he was selected ninth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. He became the all-time leading scorer in franchise history for the Hornets last season, surpassing Dell Curry. Throughout Walker’s years in Charlotte, the Hornets have only made the playoffs twice, but have still yet to make it past the first round. Walker is starting the season off well and if he can take his skill to an even better level throughout the long season ahead of him and stay consistent, he must be acknowledged more in the NBA for his game.