The Boston Celtics will be better when they return because of Kemba Walker.
Walker in 50 games this season averaged 21.2 points and 4.9 assists per game. He’s a great player and a great person.
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Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers but Walker’s contributions go way beyond just statistics. He’s the team’s leader in his first season in Boston, and he’s a marked upgrade on the great player but less than a stellar teammate who left for New Jersey.
Walker has now had time to rest his balky knee. This knee was problematic for Walker before the suspension of play. No doubt, that rest will be a plus when the teams return to the court next month.
The time off will also likely be an asset to Gordon Hayward. Any other Celtics nursing injuries will also have had ample time hopefully to rest and be ready to go when the NBA resumes games (At least 22 teams will) on July 31.
The league expects that the season will end by October 12. The playoffs will then be held
Walker’s leadership a key for young Boston Celtics players
Having Walker back on the floor will be a tremendous asset to the Celtics. While their young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are maturing rapidly, the steady hand of a team leader and a team player like Walker will be essential if the team is to advance in the playoffs.
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The Celtics are clearly not so talented as several of the foes they will meet. The dominating presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee is a monumental obstacle to any hopes of a finals appearance. “The Greek Freak” is averaging 29.6 points and 13.7 rebounds in what could be an MVP season.
A major question will be if anyone on the Boston Celtics will be able to stop Antetokounmpo on defense. The teams split their two games this season with Walker averaging 36 points in the two games.
Therefore, Walker’s healthy presence will be a must if the Celtics are to have any hope of beating the Bucks if they get to that point. In any event, it will be good to see basketball returning late next month, even if it is just in Orlando.