UConn in the NBA


Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker, left, drives against Milwaukee Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Kemba Walker:

This week was all Cardiac Kemba, as Walker almost single-handedly led his team to a 3-1 record to climb to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Walker was having an average week by his standards, averaging 19 points and just under four assists in his first three games before exploding against the Bulls for 37 points and 10 assists. This game was Walker’s third double double of the season, and the 37 points was his fifth-highest mark on the season, bringing his weekly averages to 23.8 points and 5.3 assists. Walker continues to do everything in his power to keep this Hornets team afloat and will have to do just that if he wants to earn his team a playoff spot for the first time since their 15-16 season.

Andre Drummond:

There’s just not much else you can say about Andre Drummond besides the fact that he is a beast and the best at what he does. This week Drummond tallied at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a win against the Mavericks, his eighth such game of the season and the most by any player this season. Through 48 games, Drummond is averaging a career-high 16.7 points and league-leading 14.9 rebounds per game, and while his shooting percentages are the lowest of his career (50.8 percent), his free throw percentages have increased again, as they have done every year of his career, to over 60 percent, including a very impressive 72.7 percent over his past three games. Drummond was not selected as an All-Star Reserve this year despite his efforts on both ends of the court but will look to get the Pistons to the playoffs as they currently sit two games back of the Heat for eighth.

Rudy Gay:

Everything is starting to click for the San Antonio Spurs, and that is in no small part because of Gay’s performance. The Spurs have won five games straight, including all three of their games this week, with strong performances from their power three of Aldridge, DeRozan and Gay. This week the 13-year veteran put up a stat line of 16/6.7/3.3 while shooting over 50 percent from both the field and the 3-point line to improve upon his already -career percentages this season. Beyond the numbers, Gay also hit the game-winning shot in the Spurs’ game against the Suns and is sporting his highest Player Efficiency Rating since his 2014-15 season with the Sacramento Kings. If Gay continues to contribute like he has, keep an eye out for the Spurs come playoff time.

Shabazz Napier:

Napier has done an excellent job filling in for Spencer Dinwiddie while he is out with his wrist injury. Over the past week Napier has averaged 18.5 points, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals, numbers that are very similar to the 17.2/5/0.6 line that Dinwiddie has put up as the Nets’ sixth man. While Napier’s percentages haven’t exactly been stellar, he is providing his team with a much-needed spark off the bench while boasting a career-best 16.1 Player Efficiency Rating. The Nets struggled this week, going 1-3 against tough opponents like the Celtics and Spurs, but with the return of Caris Levert nearing and Shabazz Napier playing at such a high level, they are hopeful to right the ship for this coming week.

Jeremy Lamb:

While the Hornets and Walker were very successful over the past week, the same cannot be said for Lamb. The starting shoot guard put up averages of 10 points and 6.5 rebounds for the week while shooting 40 percent from the field and 27 percent from the 3-point line. However, given that he is still having a career year to this point, it is very likely that this Lamb is just going through a slump and will likely turn it around this week when the Hornets play the Clippers, Mavericks and Hawks, all who are .500 or worse in their last 10 games.

Conner Gilson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at conner.gilson@uconn.edu.

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