UConn in the NBA: Walker poised for All-Star selection

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Kemba Walker (15) gestures after making a 3-point basket against the Sacramento Kings during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

We’re almost at the halfway point of the NBA season, and multiple former Huskies are making their mark on the league. Let’s catch up with how some former Storrs standouts are doing on the big stage.

Kemba Walker

If not for Cardiac Kemba, the Hornets would most likely be fighting for that Zion pick right now. However, the 22-24 Hornets are competing, currently sitting in eighth place in the East. Walker is averaging 25.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 22.5/5.3/5.0 over his last 10 games. He also place third in All-Star voting for all guards in the East as of the third returns on January 17, only behind Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving. With the All-Star game taking place in Charlotte this year as well, it’s safe to say Walker is a lock to make it for a third consecutive year.

Andre Drummond

The best rebounder in the game is leading the league once again, and at 14.9 RPG he is a full rebound ahead of DeAndre Jordan who is in second place. He’s not just a rebounder, as his 16.3 points per game rank ninth out of all centers. The Pistons are not out of it either, as even though they sit at 20-26 they are still ninth in the East and just two games back of the Charlotte Hornets. In an incredibly weak Eastern Conference, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that the Pistons could find their way to the playoffs even with a record that is well under .500, especially if the Hornets end up trading away Kemba in what is his walk year.

Rudy Gay

Gay has been having himself a very nice season as San Antonio’s third option, acting as the perfect complementary piece to the duo of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Currently averaging 13.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists on the season, he’s in the top five on the Spurs in virtually every statistic. As of right now, Gay and the Spurs have the sixth seed in the West at 27-21, but with four teams behind them within three games, they will need to keep fighting for the entire season if they want to remain in control.

Jeremy Lamb

Not only is the leading scorer on the Charlotte Hornets a Husky, No.2 is as well. Averaging 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists this season, Lamb has been one of the only other players on the Hornets who has been somewhat productive. He has also seen an increase in minutes in his first season as an everyday starter, contributing to career highs in points and rebounds per game. While he certainly hasn’t been All-Star worthy, he has been the perfect second option next to Kemba.

Shabazz Napier

Napier has seen a decrease in minutes in his first year in Brooklyn, largely due to being buried deep in the depth chart. With D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie each averaging over 15 points per game, it has been tough for Napier to see consistent playing time. Averaging 9.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.9 rebounds in just 16.6 minutes per game. It will be interesting to see what role he will play in the Nets’ playoff race, as they are surprisingly in sixth place in the East.


Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.

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