Prior to the NBA season’s suspension, concerns surrounding the health of Boston Celtics star Kemba Walker’s knee started to make its way into the mainstream. If the 2019-20 campaign ever does start back up again, fear pertaining to this dilemma should subside.
While the Boston Celtics were in the midst of a very successful season prior to the league’s suspension back on March 11th, the team was starting to see some woes as the year was coming upon it’s final stretch-run.
By the time of the announcement for the NBA’s hiatus, the C’s had accumulated a record of 43-21, but were trending in a negative direction as they dropped four of their last six outings.
While there were certainly multiple reasons for their apparent regression, none seems to be as apparent as the absence of All-Star point guard Kemba Walker from Boston’s rotation.
Throughout the season, Walker has proven to be the strong veteran leader this talented bunch was sorely lacking during their underwhelming 2018-19 run. Behind his averages of 21.2 points and 4.9 assists on 38 percent shooting from deep, the Boston Celtics were playing like a true championship contending team.
They managed to record the fifth best record in the NBA, the franchise’s sixth consecutive postseason berth and, with Walker running the show instead of their former franchise point guard, Kyrie Irving, were able to see Jayson Tatum take the leap to stardom along the way.
From a Celtics fan’s perspective, all seemed right with the world heading into this year’s All-Star weekend, as they mustered up a record of 8-2 in their final 10 games leading into the break.
And then, after the festivities, concerns started to arise, specifically pertaining to Walker’s left knee.
Despite appearing to be completely healthy and playing a total of 29 minutes during the All-Star Game — where he dropped 23 points and three assists — the point guard wound up missing the first five contests after games officially resumed.
Reported as a left knee injury — fluid was drained prior to their February 21st game against the Timberwolves — Walker only managed to suit up for four of a potential 10 outings prior to the season being shut down.
This news of discomfort in his left knee was quite concerning for Boston Celtics fans, for not three weeks prior, the 29 year old reported to have had soreness in that same knee which kept him sidelined for three straight games.
Long term concerns may not have been on fans minds when this news broke, as he has managed to be one of the most durable players the league has to offer over the years. However, short term concerns, specifically with the fact that the playoffs were rapidly approaching, were seemingly all the rage.
That is, of course, until the league took it’s unexpected break due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, listen, I get it; this global pandemic should not be seen as anything positive, and that is not what we’re getting at.
However, if there were to be a bright spot for the Boston Celtics during this hiatus, it is that if/ when the 2019-20 campaign returns, this time off should undoubtedly have given Walker’s body the time it appears to have needed to help heal without his absence negatively impacting the team like it was doing leading up to Adam Silver’s decision.
Do we wish the sports world was back up and running? Of course! Heck, above all else we wish for the world to be back to normal. But that can only come with time.
So too will Kemba Walker’s health and, if the season returns to action, it should only benefit the Boston Celtics heading into the postseason!