The worst season in NBA history is in the books, and it’s time to look at the players who made it all possible.
In the coming days I’ll take a look at every single Bobcats player (and I mean every single one), grade their season, and take a look into their future.
The other day I looked at Corey Maggette’s (injury plagued) season. Today, it’s Kemba Walker’s turn.
*DISCLAIMER* Walker was forced to shoulder an incredible amount of responsibilities this season. Because of injuries, the rookie saw way more minutes than he should have, started way more games than he should have, and was forced to create for himself and teammates WAYYYY more than he should have.
Still, you can’t play point guard in this league (the position Charlotte drafted Kemba to play) and have a true shooting percentage of just 46 percent.
Walker did manage to get his teammates involved at a pretty decent rate, dishing out almost six assists per 36 minutes.
He scored 12.1 points per game and 16.1 points per 36 minutes, but finished the year with an offensive rating of just 96.
If you’ve kept up with the “Bobcats Player Grades” series, you probably understand why Charlotte was so bad this year. I don’t know how many F’s I’ve given out for defense, but the number is pretty high.
Walker’s defensive rating (points produced allowed per 100 possessions) was 111.
His steal percentage (percentage of opponent possessions that ended in a steal by Walker) was less than two.
Also, he wasn’t very aggressive defensively, committing just 1.6 fouls per 36 minutes.
I couldn’t give Walker a D here, even though the stats might warrant it. He just always looked like he was giving it his all, despite the unfortunate circumstances he found himself in.
His 25 percent usage rate (percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor) was a little high for the lack of offensive output those plays produced (96 offensive rating).
For a rookie point guard, Walker was a decent rebounder; he grabbed 4.7 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Perhaps the most impressive stat of Walkers season was his turnover percentage. Even as a first year player who was thrust into the starting lineup and forced to play extended minutes, he managed to hang on to the ball enough to record a turnover percentage (turnovers per 100 plays) of just 12.1. This led to Walker turning the ball over just 2.4 times per 36 minutes, and an assist to turnover ratio per 36 minutes of +3.4.
I really like Walker. Sure he’s more Allen Iverson (in style of play only so far. Don’t tear me to shreds for the comparison) than Steve Nash, but with the right coaching, hard work in the next few off seasons, and the right veteran guidance, he could become a very good point guard.
What I want to see him get better at the most before next season is his decision making at the rim. Too often Walker got into the lane and hit the wrong guy, missed the right guy or missed a layup.
If he can get better at that one thing, I think he could easily up his offensive numbers to at least 16 points and 6.5 assists per game (not 36 minutes) and finish the year with an offensive rating over 100.