Kemba Walker has been a below-average shooter since the day he entered the NBA. But this season, his fifth, the 25-year-old is starting to show flashes of stability with a new jump shot that's finding the bottom of the net more often than ever before.
The Hornets are still better on offense with Walker on the bench, though those numbers have a lot to do with the fact that he sits against opposing second units. All in all, his shooting averages are fantastic, but it'll be interesting to see if he can maintain them throughout an entire season.
That's what matters.
“It could change his whole career. He’s going to keep shooting like this,” coach Steve Clifford said. “His confidence level is so high.” In his first four NBA seasons, all in Charlotte, Walker shot 31.8 percent from 3-point range. That’s deficient. A 34 percent average is typically considered acceptable from NBA 3-point range. Thirty-six percent is strong, and anything consistently in the 40 percent vicinity is elite. In his first 17 games – nearly a quarter of the 2015-16 season – Walker is shooting 39.7 percent from 3 (27-of-68). That is not a particularly large sample, but Clifford has seen enough to believe this is no blip.