Bobcats’ leading scorer Kemba Walker seeing reduced minutes

1/13/13 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

After finishing December on noteworthy averages of 18 points and six assists, Kemba Walker has deviated from his usual goal of improving on previous numbers his January. In the last five games the Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker has been averaging 17.6 points and 5.9 assist per game.
But after giving considerable thought to the situation, it becomes evident that the almost unnoticeable drop in Kemba Walker’s production isn’t associated to poor performance but the reduced minutes he’s been kept to this January. Kemba Walker’s been averaging around 30 minutes per game this month, which is a recognizable five minutes below his season average.
So, why is the charlotte Bobcats’ current leader in scoring, assists and steals being given the cold shoulder on the floor this month? Well, firstly that reason might be traced back to statistical issues.
After going on 46 percent shooting in December, until recently Kemba Walker had been shooting at a slightly lower 43 percent in January. While he may not be a major outside threat, Kemba Walker’s 37.9 percent shooting on 3-pointers has also dropped to just 25 percent shooting from the arc. Stats from the free-throw line are equally disappointing, with Kemba Walker shooting 70 percent compared to 77.5 percent in December.
The good news is that Kemba walker seems to have developed on the defensive side, picking up on rebounding (3.8 this month) and keeping a keen eye on avoiding those pointless turnovers ( 2.4 just five games into January).
Then why isn’t Kemba Walker being loaded on playing time to encourage that growth?
Apparently, there appears to be no explanation for this phenomena surrounding the Kemba Walker’s reduced minutes and Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap’s rotation scheme. Why Mike Dunlap’s keeping Kemba Walker leashed to 30 minutes is anybody’s guess…unless it’s to send out a message. Historically, Kemba Walker and Mike Dunlap have often indulged in a more animated way of communicating and possibly a line was crossed. In the early January loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mike Dunlap had Kemba Walker play up to 24 minutes per game, while being benched for the entire fourth quarter despite shooting 50 percent and racking up five assists in the game. However, Charlotte Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions (who made quite a pairing with Kemba Walker in early season)kept team in the game along with Ben Gordon late into the fourth quarter before losing 106-104.
Earlier in the season a Charlotte Observer report cited both Kemba Walker and Mike Dunalp tend to get into passionate disagreements while expressing their opinion. Although, at the time both downplayed the incidents to their desire to win the game and leave no stone unturned in the process.
Maybe, Kemba Walker and Mike Dunlap again got “frank” with each other and things got out of hand.
Then again, Mike Dunlap’s overseen great growth in Kemba Walker’s game as point guard, sees him heading to Chris-Paul’s levels.
“I’ve asked Kemba, `What do you think of Chris Paul’s game?’ And obviously Kemba tells me he has a lot of respect for him,” stated Mike Dunlap. “I’ve said to Kemba, `Well, that’s where you’re headed. That’s who you are in this league.”’
Hopefully, Kemba Walker’s reduced minutes are just an oversight on Mike Dunlap’s part. But that lack of focus can’t be good for Mike Dunlap or the Charlotte Bobcats as well.
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