Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham started the season in a shooting slump.
The third-year player had a very promising 2019-20 season in which he established himself as a scoring threat including a 40-point performance vs Brooklyn and a 10 3-pointer night vs Golden State, ultimately becoming the Hornets leading scorer for the season.
Prolific numbers for a second year player.
After the first 10 games of last season, Graham was averaging 17.9 points per game while shooting 39.6% from the field.
He became impossible to ignore after a 35-point night vs Indiana and was named a starter from the 11th game on.
A nice start to the year…..last year.
This year’s first 10 games went very different for Graham.
He scored 10 points or less in the half of the first 10 contests while his shooting was off the mark at 26% from the field.
Teammate Terry Rozier was asked about Graham’s early season struggles on WFNZ, “We’re not even worried about Devonte’… Shooters gonna shoot, and I know he’s gonna get hot.” Rozier predicted.
The the 11th game of the season came, and Devonte’ Graham seemed to find his stroke again.
In a win over the Knicks, Graham scored 19 points on 7-15 field goal shooting.
It seems the 11th game of this season may prove pivotal for Graham, just like last season’s 11th game when he was first named starter.
Since that game, there has been a huge improvement from Graham in his shooting and scoring, perhaps Rozier’s prediction is coming true.
In the last 6 games, Graham’s shooting percentage has been much higher at 41.3% (compared to 26% in first 10 games), while scoring 12 points and above in every game.
Friday night against the Bulls, Graham had a great first half which saw him shoot 8-13 from the field with 22 first-half points.
Then against Orlando on Sunday, Graham came up big in the 4th quarter with 3 3-pointers as part of a 13 point quarter, to help the Hornets to a comeback win.
Since that pivotal 11th game of the season, Devonte’ Graham has looked more like himself, averaging 17.5 point in that span.
With Graham showing signs of improving, the Hornets have 3 or 4 legit scoring threats with team leader Gordon Hayward and all of the 3-headed monster backcourt of Graham, Rozier and rookie sensation LaMelo Ball.
If Devonte’ Graham can continue his hot streak it will only add to the excitement for the Hornets season and may lead to greater success for the team.