Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham has had one of the most surprising starts to this season, including another stellar game on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old put up 33 points against the Golden State Warriors behind 10 three-pointers. That was a career-high mark from downtown for Graham, who also tied the record for most three-pointers in a single game in franchise history.
Graham has been shooting the ball well all year, as he leads the Eastern Conference in total three-pointers thus far. Perhaps most impressive is the prolific rate at which he has created his own shot.
Ricky O’Donnell wrote about this last month, comparing him to former Charlotte star Kemba Walker (via SB Nation):
“[His] ability to hit pull-up threes off the dribble makes him an especially tough cover. It should remind Hornets fans quite a bit of how Walker used to play in Charlotte… The pull-up three off the dribble is one of the toughest and most valuable shots in basketball. Graham has been remarkably good at making them so far.”
In fact, Graham (2.23) and Walker (2.37) have actually averaged nearly identical successful pull-up three-pointers per 70 possessions this season.
Graham consistently dances around the court, finding space for himself and showcasing his ability to shoot on the move without a pass from a teammate. More than half of the three-pointers he has made have been unassisted, according to Cleaning the Glass, which ranks in the 94th percentile among combo guards.
Even before the highlight performance against Golden State, this was the full list of players who had scored more points on unassisted three-pointers than Graham (114): James Harden (243), Damian Lillard (153), Trae Young (144) and Luka Doncic (141). Those are some of the best shot creators in the NBA and Graham has found himself right up there among the elite.
Overall, few in the league have scored off the dribble as often as Graham has in 2019-20.
He has been efficient, too, averaging 1.14 points per possession when shooting jump shots off the dribble. That ranks in the 88th percentile among all players so far this season, per Synergy. He has accumulated 142 points in this manner, which is third-best in the Eastern Conference.
He has been among the top-tier scorers in the NBA, solidifying himself as an early candidate for the Most Improved Player award.