UConn in the NBA: Kemba joins Drummond in the All-Star Game

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker, back, drives down the court with the ball as Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray backs up on defense in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Well, the basketball gods (and Adam Silver) must have been listening when they found out there were originally no former UConn players in the NBA All-Star Game, because now Andre Drummond and Kemba Walker will be competing on Feb. 18. Drummond was announced as the replacement for John Wall over a week ago, but more recently, Walker was announced to replace the fallen Kristaps Porzingis. Sorry Knicks fans.

As usual, I’ll go into detail on this and more for this week’s edition of UConn in the NBA.

Andre Drummond

After five straight wins to start the Blake Griffin era in Detroit, the Pistons are now losers of two straight, with the first loss coming to Griffin’s old team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Drummond continues to shine and may be more motivated now that he has a superstar teammate for the first time. Since the trade, Drummond has notched 20-plus rebounds three times in seven games and has reached 20-plus points in three out of seven games. The big man is averaging 15.2 points and 15.6 rebounds a game, with the rebounds being the most anyone has grabbed per game since Dennis Rodman had 16.05 in the 1996-97 season, over 20 years ago. Drummond is an absurdly dominant rebounder, and the pairing of him and Griffin could be enough for Detroit to rebound and make the playoffs.

Kemba Walker

On a Charlotte team that is six-and-a-half games out of the last playoff spot in the East, it wasn’t surprising for Walker to miss the All-Star team even though he is having a solid season. But, with seemingly every player in the East going down with injuries, Walker was ready to take the injury reserve spot and make everyone in Charlotte and Storrs proud. Walker is having a good year, with averages of 22.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, so seeing him named an All-Star replacement isn’t a huge surprise. The NBA trade deadline also passed last Thursday and Walker remains with the Hornets despite all of the potential trade rumors he was involved in. Catch Walker in the All-Star Game this Sunday.

Jeremy Lamb

Lamb also remains with the Hornets after the trade deadline, but his name wasn’t really floated around much. Lamb has continued his solid season without much news surrounding him. If the Hornets do make a run for the playoffs, it will be interesting to see what will transpire during the postseason. For now, Lamb will continue to do the usual.

Shabazz Napier

Napier is another guy without much news surrounding him. The trade deadline passed him by, and I’m assuming that’s because Portland values him fairly high as their backup point guard. Watch Napier and the Trail Blazers battle the Warriors this Wednesday on ESPN.

Rudy Gay

Gay remains on the injured-and-out list, and that’s a shame for him and the Spurs. The Spurs are likely being as cautious as they can with Gay, because he will be more useful in their inevitable playoff run than he is in the regular season. Look for Gay to return later this month.


Zac Lane is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at zac.lane@uconn.edu.