UConn in the NBA: Walker continues to shine, Lamb maintains his stride


Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond (0) looks to shoot against Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala, left, and JaVale McGee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

We’re two weeks into the NBA season, and when I look up into the air I can’t be sure if I’m seeing the sky or the ground. Professional basketball has successfully turned my world completely upside down, thanks to our very own Huskies. Let’s jump right in and see how our UConn brethren are faring and/or dominating the league right now.

Kemba Walker

He’s here, he’s legit and he’s most definitely a top-10 point guard. Walker is showing no signs of slowing down his production through two weeks, averaging 24 points and 6.5 assists per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from the three-point line and 90.9 percent from the free throw line, all career-highs.

The Hornets only sit at 3-3 but would have one more loss if it wasn’t for their leader’s 34 points, 10 assists and six rebounds last night against the former Eastern Conference-leading Orlando Magic (that feels wrong to type). Kemba is playing his tail off, and he’ll need to keep it up if the Hornets hope to be a playoff team in this strange season.

Andre Drummond

While Drummond might not be putting up the most dazzling personal stats, his team has one very important and surprising claim: They’re number one. The Detroit Pistons sit atop the Eastern Conference, and Drummond continues to be willing to share the ball and stroke his free throws.

He’s cooled down a little since last week, but the big man is shooting 70 percent from the line. He’s also averaging 2.6 assists per game, to go along with a career-high 2.3 steals per game. Oh, and the Pistons just came back from down 14 to beat the Warriors in a game in which Drummond grabbed 18 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass and handed out five assists. It’s great to finally see the alum contribute to winning on the basketball court.

Jeremy Lamb

Lamb has officially grabbed the No. 3 spot on this list, and now it’s his to lose. He’s currently playing stellar basketball for the Hornets, thriving alongside his old pal Kemba while putting up 17.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game and playing nearly 32 minutes a night, all career-highs. If Lamb can keep this up, he’ll help the Hornets in the chase for a playoff spot, while also proving he remains a capable starter alongside Kemba and Batum, once the latter comes back from his injury.

Rudy Gay

Gay is having a solid year off the bench for the Spurs, but it doesn’t look like he’ll become a starter at any point. He’s shooting 50 percent from the field, a career-high, but a ghastly 27.3 percent from three-point range, a career-low. For Gay to get more burn, he’ll have to raise that three-point percentage, otherwise it’ll make it even harder for him to play in lineups that feature LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, big men that can stretch the floor but do not create enough space to give Gay the driving lanes he needs.

Shabazz Napier

Napier is shooting scorching percentages from the field and three but in the smallest sample size of his career, as he is averaging a career-low 8.6 minutes per game. Besides his percentages, there isn’t much else to mention about the former UConn star. Hopefully, he can play his way into more minutes and production; until then, he’s just a backup guard without a bright NBA future.

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

Leave a Reply