Talking about Kemba Walker “not being the same player that he was last year” has been one of the most popular sports topics around Boston this season. As Walker continues to battle knee issues, a large portion of the blame for the Celtics disappointing season has been placed on his shoulders. However, after looking at the numbers, Walker doesn’t appear to be struggling as much as everyone thinks he is.
Kemba Walker’s final February splits: 20.3 PPG 3.9 RPG 4.5 APG 39.2 FG% 38.2 3P% 93.6 FT%
Kemba Walker’s 2019-20 stats: 20.4 PPG 3.9 RPG 4.8 APG 42.5 FG% 38.1 3P% 86.4 FT%
Certainly Walker’s January stats are underwhelming (14.3 PPG, 37.3 FG%, 29.3 3P%) and still bringing down his overall numbers on the season, but over the last month he’s been the same player he was last season. The only significant differences between his February splits and his 2019-20 All-Star season stats are a field goal percentage that’s about 3% lower and a free throw percentage that’s actually about 7% higher!
The field goal percentage drop can’t be totally disregarded, but the overall numbers can hardly be categorized as disappointing. Walker has been living up to his contract recently and he’s not getting the credit he deserves. It seems people are falsely equating the Celtics struggling with Kemba Walker struggling when it’s just not the case. The rhetoric about Walker being one of the worst contracts in the league absolutely needs to stop. He’s back to playing like a borderline All-Star.
Photo: (David Zalubowski – AP Photo)