The NBA announced today that Kemba Walker has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, with Kevin Love garnering the same honor for the Western Conference.
Mike Bass and Tim Frank, from the NBA's communications department noted the following in their overview of Walker's terrific four games:
Walker led the Bobcats to a 4-0 week behind averages of 22.5 points (tied for seventh in the conference), 8.8 assists (second in the conference) and 5.5 rebounds. His 40.5 minutes per game ranked third in the East. Walker tallied 20-plus points three times and eclipsed the 30-point plateau once. He scored 24 points, handed out a career-high 16 assists and added five rebounds on Feb. 19, during a 116-98 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Walker's game points totals for the week were 22, 23, 13 and 31 for a total of 90 on a combined 67 shot attempts. Though he made a decent 34.6 percent of his threes, he also improved his scoring efficiency by earning over seven free throw attempts for the week's games. Walker's 8.8 assists per game over this stretch are terrific, even in inflated by his 16-assist game against the Pistons.
As far as advanced stats go, he well outperformed his season averages with a 56.4 True Shooting percentage and a 36.7 assist percentage, compared to his season averages of 51.5 and 27.4 percent, respectively.
Kemba Walker's post-All Star break performances have been a terrific showing for both him and the team. His shooting and passing have helped balance the offense with Al Jefferson clicking from inside and out (aside from the game against the Grizzlies). Perhaps one of the more impressive signs of his and the team's success on this run is that they've won the last two without Ramon Sessions and without the players they traded him and Jeff Adrien for. Shorthanded, Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson led Charlotte past two West Conference squads.
Oh, and by the way, though he didn't win, Al Jefferson was nominated for Player of the Week, too. His 6-point dud against the stout defense of Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies only made a slight dent on his week's scoring average of 25 points per game on 47.3 percent shooting with about 10 rebounds per contest. If you take out that one performance, Jefferson had an incredible three-game span of 31.3 points per game on 52.6 percent shooting. Still, his four games were quite comparable to Walker's, though Walker did end up narrowly beating him out in scoring efficiency.
All told, the Bobcats are rolling on this current streak as they head to their toughest stretch of games this season: @ San Antonio, @ Oklahoma City, @ Miami and then at home against the Pacers, aka a murderer's row consisting of each conference's two best teams.
The Bobcats are now the 7 seed in the East, and they were even the 6 seed for a day after the Nets lost to the Warriors before they beat the Lakers the next day. The good vibes are rolling and with their two newest acquisitions to shore up bench depth yet to be incorporated into the rotation, there's still room for them to improve a bit.