Kemba Walker: The Most Underrated Season of His Career
Kemba Walker has always been one of the most underrated star point guards the NBA has to offer. Part of this has to do with the fact that he has been on a rather underwhelming Charlotte Hornets team the majority of his career. The other part is that he is playing during a time where star point guards are dominating the league. However, he is still one of the best in the game right now and his four All-Star appearances help solidify that fact. Naturally, it makes sense to make him our next player in this “underrated season,” series. Kemba Walker’s most overlooked season of his career may surprise you.
Kemba Walker: His Most Overlooked Season
Cardiac Kemba’s 2016-17 Campaign
Kemba Walker’s first All-Star season goes criminally overlooked. The Hornets may have missed the playoffs, but Walker was hardly the reason for their shortcomings. The Hornets would finish the season with a disappointing 36-46 win-loss record. However, the one bright spot that came from this season was their promising point guard in Walker making his first All-Star Game. At the time, this was the first sure sign that Charlotte could build around a star for the future.
As we know now, that plan did not work as the All-Star is now the floor general for the Boston Celtics. Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time, but he has come up extremely short as a team owner and his inability to capitalize off of and build around Walker’s talent is evidence of that statement. After Walker’s 2016-17 season, Jordan should have taken more direct action in building around Walker, but instead, Walker is now an All-Star for another Eastern Conference team.
Kemba Walker: His 2016-17 Season Stats
As you would expect, Walker put up some gaudy numbers during this particular season. He would tally 23.2 points, 5.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Not to mention, Walker would shoot a nice 39.9% from three-point territory coupled with a free throw percentage of 84.7%. Walker’s advanced analytics from this campaign are also impressive. He would average an offensive rating of 113 to pair with an offensive win share of 5.9.
On top of this, Walker would also come away with an assist percentage of 29.1% to go along with a true shooting percentage of 56.9%. During this season, he would also average his second-best player efficiency rating of his career so far with a rating of 21.3. All of these facts combined would translate into Kemba Walker’s first All-Star Game appearance of his nine-year career. He may not have the allure of guys like Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, or Chris Paul, but Kemba Walker is still one of the best point guards playing right now. His 2016-17 season was just the beginning of him coming into his prime.
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