Kemba Walker had a turn-the-clock-back kind of performance for the Boston Celtics this past Friday night, putting up 32 points on 10-19 shooting. His 3-point shot was crisp, as the UCONN product shot 40% from beyond the 3-point line on the night, picking up his fellow max contract stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
The first-time All-Star and first-time All-Star starter, respectively, took a backseat role in the 118-112 win over the Indiana Pacers. Brown couldn’t get his shot going from beyond the arc, but instead attacked the basket and did a decent bit of facilitation (five assists) to go along seven rebounds. Tatum couldn’t get his shot going at all, shooting just 4-18 overall.
The Cs superstar is still the #1 option in this Celtics offense, but it was Walker that buoyed Boston in what was a much-needed win for an ailing franchise.
The win propelled the Celtics back up the standings to the #6 seed, while the Pacers fell to the eighth playoff spot, forcing a play-in for Indiana if they are unable to climb back themselves. For Walker, it was a night of redemption and the kind of night that makes me contemplate eating my words about trading Kemba Walker off the team.
After contemplation, though, I stand by the harsh reality that Walker will lose the ability to string multiple such games as he ages, and the team isn’t championship material now…even during his prime.
Boston needs either more depth or an upgrade in the frontcourt in order to contend with the likes of Brooklyn and Philadelphia (and maybe Milwaukee) in a potential Eastern Conference finals series.
These three teams–squads that could all use an injection of playmaking at the 1-spot–could all offer the Cs that and be interested in a potential Kemba Walker deal: