After jumping up to eighth in NBA.com’s MVP ladder, Charlotte Hornets’ point guard Kemba Walker dropped out of the top-10 after a less than stellar week.
Sekou Smith of NBA.com gives his weekly analysis on the NBA’s MVP ladder as he ranks the top-10 frontrunners for the award. The Charlotte Hornets were well represented last week when Kemba Walker moved up to eighth in the rankings. Unfortunately, after missing one game and the team losing four straight, the Bronx native dropped out of the top-10.
In the four games since last week’s rankings, Walker only averaged 17.6 points per game and 6.3 assists per game in three outings. He missed the final game due to a personal reason and the team ended up losing all four of those matches. It was not a good for Kemba or the Hornets.
Despite the slight fall, the 26-year old is still playing at a high-level and is still a sure fire all-star selection this season. And even though he fell out of the top-10 in the rankings, he Walker was listed in the next five category in the rankings. He can easily move back up with a good week.
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In his fist game back with the team and of the new week, the 6’1 point guard put up 18 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds in a big win over the Atlanta Hawks. He is already on his way back up the ladder after his third double-double of the season.
The ten players listed ahead of Kemba include #1 James Harden, #2 Russell Westbrook, #3 LeBron James, #4 Kevin Durant, #5 Kawhi Leonard, #6 Stephen Curry, #7 DeMar DeRozan, #8 Giannis Antetokounmpo, #9 Jimmy Butler, and #10 Marc Gasol. Mentioned among the next five alongside the Hornets’ guard were Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Gordon Hayward, and Chris Paul.
Looking at the rankings, only three (maybe four with Chris Paul) point guards are ahead of Walker this season. That speaks volumes to the high level that Kemba is competing at this season and the huge numbers that he’s putting up.
While the Hornets’ guard is still enjoying a career season, he will need his team to play well if he wants to be among the best. Being an MVP isn’t only about individual numbers. It’s also about how many wins your team has and where they are in the standings.
Walker will likely be among the MVP candidates as the season goes on but it will be tough to reach near the top with the ridiculous stat lines that James Harden and Russell Westbrook are recording. Even if he doesn’t win an award this year, just having Kemba in the conversation is a great sign for the Charlotte Hornets.