UConn in the NBA: Walker and Drummond continue red hot starts

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Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker reacts after a basket against the Boston Celtics during a game in Charlotte on Monday, Nov. 19. (Chuck Burton/AP)

Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker reacts after a basket against the Boston Celtics during a game in Charlotte on Monday, Nov. 19. (Chuck Burton/AP)

The NBA season is approaching the quarter mark and a ton of storylines are starting to take shape: The Celtics are struggling, the Greek Freak is playing out of his mind, LeBron is, sadly, still LeBron and the race for Zion Williamson has already started. National news aside, it’s time to focus on what’s really important: checking in on the six former Huskies who have been balling out this season.

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets – Kemba looks to have refound his 2011 magic, as he has put the Hornets on his back to start this season. In 19 games, he’s averaging 28.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game, while playing almost 35 minutes a night. He’s on pace to smash his career high scoring numbers and has seven games of 30-plus points including a 60-point performance against Philly on Nov. 17. Despite a 9-10 record, Charlotte currently holds the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons – Drummond continues to do what he has done his whole career and that is completely dominate the glass. In his first 17 games, Drummond is averaging 19.5 points and 16.1 rebounds a game, both on pace to be career highs. He has six games this season of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, the most recent coming on Black Friday against the Rockets. The intimidating frontcourt partnership of Drummond and Blake Griffin have propelled the Pistons to a 10-7 start and a tie for the fourth seed in the East.

Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs – Gay has been an important contributor to a San Antonio team that looks to be going through a period of transition after losing Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker in the offseason. In 15 games for the Spurs, Gay is averaging 14.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 assist while shooting over 50% from the field in almost 28 minutes per game. San Antonio currently sits at 9-10, a half game out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Shabazz Napier, Brooklyn Nets – The hero of the Huskies’ 2014 Championship run, Napier has struggled to find a consistent home in the NBA as the Nets are his fourth team in five seasons. Playing sparingly as the third point guard on the roster, Napier is averaging 7.5/1.5/1.5 and 15 minutes per game in 17 games for Brooklyn. He seems to have gained the trust of the coaching staff, as he has played double digit minutes in seven of his last nine games. The Nets are currently two games out of a playoff spot with an 8-13 record.

Jeremy Lamb, Charlotte Hornets – Lamb is having a breakout season in Buzz City playing alongside his former Husky teammate Walker. Finally becoming a consistent starter for the Hornets, Lamb is putting up 14.3/5.3/1.8 in 27 minutes a game in 19 games. He has only failed to reach double digit points twice this season and has come on strong in November, averaging 16.7 points and shooting 46 percent from the field during the month.

Daniel Hamilton, Atlanta Hawks – Hamilton has only appeared in a single for Atlanta this season, playing eight minutes and scoring a single point against Denver on Nov. 15. It was his first appearance since playing two minutes for Oklahoma City back in April. The Hawks currently own the worst record in the NBA at 4-16.


Neil Simmons is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at neil.simmons@uconn.edu.

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