I’m not sure why, but Kemba Walker is never mentioned as a contender for the the NBA’s most improved player this season.
It makes no sense.
He’s averaging 5.6 more points and 1.3 more assists per game than he did last year. But that’s not the reason he’s the NBA’s most improved player.
Walker’s shooting percentage has sky-rocketed from 37 in his rookie year to 42 percent this season. His three-point percentage is up from 30 percent to 32 percent, and his true-shooting percentage is now over 50 percent. But none of that is why he’s the NBA’s most improved player.
His offensive rating is up almost 10 points from a season ago, his steal percentage and assist percentage have risen, and his PER is well above the league average. None of that has anything to do with why he is the NBA’s most improved player.
He plays for the Charlotte Bobcats, and he is the guy who makes his team go. On a team as bad as the Bobcats, it’s amazing that a second year player like Walker, under his second head NBA head coach in as many seasons, has improved as much as he has.
The most impressive part of all those stats I listed above is the fact that they’re all trending upward while his usage rate has held solid at 25 percent.
That means he’s not using more plays to get better. He’s wildly more effective than he was last year on the same percentage of team plays devoted to him.
Even if he doesn’t win any awards this year, this one stat bodes very well for him and Charlotte.