Charlotte Hornets: Devonte’ Graham’s shooting woes is not unexpected

Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham is in the midst of the worst shooting slump of his career, but this recent stretch shouldn’t be surprising for many reasons.

Ever since dropping 40 points in an incredible comeback win for the Charlotte Hornets against the Brooklyn Nets, Devonte’ Graham has really struggled with his shooting. I would argue, though, that a slump was inevitable for the second-year guard.

In the eight games after the Brooklyn win, Charlotte has gone 2-6, including a current five-game losing streak. In those eight games, Graham has shot 38-141 (27 percent) from the field and 28-94 (30 percent) from the three-point line.

Yeah, it’s been a major struggle for Graham. Given his increase in minutes, shot attempts and overall offensive responsibilities, you had to figure that Graham would struggle with his efficiency this season.

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Graham did sort of come out of nowhere, though. He really caught the entire league by surprise, and opposing teams are now making him a huge focus when it comes to game planning. That wasn’t the case earlier on in the season.

On the season, Graham is still averaging 19.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 7.7 assists. His shooting overall is down to 38 percent, but his three-point shooting remains steady at 39 percent. His improvement from distance has been an incredible development.

One thing that I love about Graham is that he isn’t going to let this slump get the best of him. He’s still going to be Devonte’ Graham and play his own game. You can see the confidence and swagger he plays with every night. He’ll continue to let it fly from the perimeter, regardless of what his percentages are and who is guarding him.

Graham is also doing other things on the court. He’ll lead the Hornets in scoring and in shot attempts on a lot of nights, but scoring isn’t the only thing he does. He’s been a good playmaker this season, and has cracked double-digit assists in three consecutive games. He’s also competed hard defensively.

He wasn’t going to keep playing like he was earlier in the season forever, so now it’s on him to make adjustments to what the defense is throwing at him and break out of this slump. I, for one, feel confident in his abilities to do so.

Any player taking on a new role as the top option is going to go through struggles at some point. For some, it takes longer to adjust. Here’s hoping Graham can snap out of this slump quickly, especially if the team wants to be in the playoffs.

Graham has lessened the blow of losing Kemba Walker in free agency with his strong play. Fans should be patient with him and be grateful that he’s here. Let’s not forget, this is a second round draft pick that was viewed by many, including me, as a backup point guard at best for his career.

Now, we’re talking about him potentially being among the All-Star reserves in the Eastern Conference. It’s been a pretty incredible jump for Devonte’ Graham, and I’ve enjoyed every second of his rise.

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In the end, despite the rough shooting, the Charlotte Hornets know they need Devonte’ Graham on the court as much as possible. He makes a positive impact every time he’s out there. He’ll find his shot eventually, and will continue playing a key role in what Charlotte does moving forward.