Photo: NBC Sports
By: Patrick Whalen
2018-19 Report Card:
The latest installment of The Parquet’s report card series features the new Celtics Point Guard Kemba Walker. The former Charlotte Hornet and UConn Huskie signed with Boston for a 4 year $141 million deal this past June after spending his first 8 seasons in Charlotte. Walker is coming off a career year which included his third straight All-Star appearance and his first All NBA team honors.
As I said before Walker had an amazing year on a below-average Charlotte team as he set a new career-high averaging 25.6 point per game. With the scoring increase, his shot totals also increased as he averaged career highs in both shots attempted (20.5) and shots made (8.9). Walker also tied another career-high in rebounds per game with 4.4 per game. Plus, even with the scoring jump Walker still averaged 5.9 assists per game despite having a roster that lacked any other high profile talent around him. Efficiency wise Walker was slightly below league average shooting 43.4% from the field. But he was right on average from three shooting 35.6% and was above average from the line shooting 84.4%.
Still, Walker’s All NBA season was a waste yet again as the Hornets missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year and for the 6th time in Walkers 8 year career and you can’t blame that on Kemba. Walker has given Charlotte everything he could as a player and that has him leaving as the teams all-time leader in minutes and points and second all-time in assists. So the lack of the Hornets playoff success can not be pinned on Kemba which is why I’m still going to give him an A for the 2018-19 season. Kemba has had a lack of talent around him since he got to Charlotte and is leaving as one of the greatest Hornets players to ever put on a uniform.
Final Grade: A
For this season I’m predicting a first for Kemba… making it past the first round of the playoffs. But stat-wise I see Kemba’s per game scoring dropping seeing how he nows has some legitimate talent around him. I also think becuase of his new situation and new, more talented teammates his assist per game will be a career-high. Walker is already getting acquainted with some of his new teammates as he is joining Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart at team USA camp for the FIBA World Cup. Between gaining the chemistry before camp and having much better talent around him Walkers passing numbers should go through the roof. Plus with having more talented teammates he won’t be double-teamed as much leading to more open shots and a higher shooting percentage. So despite his shots per game and points per game dropping, I believe that Kemba’s efficiency shooting the ball will improve. He already showed signs of all of that in the first USA blue vs white scrimmage as he scored 14 points on 6-10 shooting and also had 4 assists. Efficient scoring and effective passing with Tatum on the same teams as him. The 2019-20 season should be a successful one for Kemba overall his scoring may dip slightly but his winning and the Celtics winning will go up.
Predictions for 2019-20:
PPG: 22.3 RPG: 3.4 APG: 6.8 FGM: 7.2 FGA: 16.7 FG%: 46.3% 3P%: 38.7% FT%: 85.9%
Eastern Conference All-Star Reserve Selection and All-NBA Selection
Now here is a look back at our new point guards time in Charlotte.
Also If you missed the first 2 report cards hit the links below to catch up.