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NBA PLAYOFFS -- Kemba's star is rising


PhilBoxing.com




CHARLOTTE -- ​After 12 agonizing years, the Charlotte Hornets ​finally won another playoffs game when they toppled the Miami Heat, 115-97, in Game 3 of their ongoing opening round series last week. Two nights later, at the Time Warner Cable Arena, the Hornets ​toppled the Heat anew, 89-85, tying the best-of-7 duel at 2-2.

​Of the many players that point to Charlotte's success, no Hornet is shining brighter than Kemba Walker, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound scoring machine out of the University of the Connecticut.

The 9th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, Walker is heating up this postseason. Through four games thus far, the 25-year old is averaging 24.8 points per while shooting a staggering 95.8 percent from the free throw stripe. In Game 4 against the Heat, Walker exploded for 34 points, pulling the 6th seeded Hornets even with No.3 ranked Miami.

​Beating the mighty Heat twice required help from other Hornets. And that hasn't been an issue thus far as reserve guard Jeremy Lin (14.8 points, 2.5 assists per game) and center Al Jefferson (14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds per) have stepped up to the plate and delivered. Big men Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky had put in their fair share as well, combining for 15.1 points and 9.6 boards a contest.

​But so far, it's looking like the Hornets can only go as far as Kemba can take them, especially now that Nicolas Batum is out with an injury, creating a huge scoring void.

With the series now reduced to three games and Miami hosting Games 5 and 7 (if necessary) at the AmericanAirlines Arena, the road the second round remains an uphill climb for Charlotte. But so long as they have a healthy Kemba Walker, these Hornets will always have a puncher's chance.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eugene Nepangue.


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