This season Kemba Walker has become one of the most controversial players. A lot of NBA fans say he isn’t all that good and is just a shot chucker on a bad team. Others argue that Kemba is Kyrie Irving on a bad team. But, after Kemba’s record-breaking start to the season, I would argue he is a top 5 point guard of this year.
Kemba Walker vs Kyrie Irving
Because this article is focused on this season only, it’s quite obvious Kemba has outplayed Kyrie. Not only has Kemba scored 14 more points per game, but he has done it on a highly efficient 49.2% from the field and 45.3% from three. On the other hand, Kyrie is shooting just 40.2% from the field and 21.4% from three. Additionally, despite having the less talented team around him Kemba has a much better +/- (+32 vs Kyrie’s -26). Kyrie may have the more decorated career, but Kemba has been light years ahead of him this season.
Kemba Walker vs John Wall
Although John Wall is typically considered a top 5 point guard there is no way he is better than Kemba this season. So far Walker is averaging 30.8 PPG which is way more than Wall’s 21.2 PPG. Additionally, the argument that John Wall is a better playmaker can’t be used this year. Although Wall is averaging 1.9 more assists than Kemba (7.6 vs 5.7), he has a worse assist to turnover ratio. He currently has a 2.2 AST to TO ratio while Kemba has a 2.85 AST to TO ratio. Wall’s high turnover rate hurt his ability as a playmaker and diminish his value.
A final argument for Kemba is his significantly more efficient and well-rounded scoring. Not only can Kemba score more, but he can do so on better efficiency and in more ways. John Wall is shooting under 50% from every spot on the floor except right at the rim. Kemba has made 29 threes. John Wall has made 3. Their eFG% (Walker 60.4% vs Wall 44%) also represent that Walker is way more efficient than Wall. To top it all off, Walker has taken the less talented Hornets (3-3) to a better record than Wall’s Wizards (1-4).
Kemba Walker vs Kyle Lowry
Even though Lowry has had a great start to the season as well he hasn’t done quite as well as Kemba. Lowry has played great defense, passed the ball well, and scored extremely efficiency. But, he still isn’t better than Kemba Walker because the Raptors help Lowry be great. The Hornets simply don’t have the pieces to make Kemba better, he has to do everything himself.
So far Lowry has been assisted on 43% of his baskets this season compared to Kemba’s 28%. Lowry lacks the shot creating and 3-point shooting Kemba has that makes him great. Lowry is shooting a great percentage from three, but shoots a lower volume and doesn’t need to take the tough shots Kemba does. Also, Lowry simply can’t carry his team. He relies on others to generate his shots and has limited creating ability. There is no doubt Kyle Lowry is a great player, but Kemba is just a little bit better.
At the end of the day, I can’t put Walker over CP3, Dame, Westbrook, or Curry. Nevertheless, he is still a top 5 point guard and deserving of more recognition. Hopefully, Walker is traded to a better team or is able to carry the Hornets to their first playoff appearance in years. There is no way to blame him for losing because of how bad the team around him is. But, to be solidified as an elite point guard he will have to start winning.