The Celtics knew the immense skillset Kemba Walker would bring to their offense with the veteran guard’s crossover dribbles, stepback jumpers, smooth release and playmaking ability helping him average 22 points per game so far in the extremely early stages of his tenure in Boston.
But Walker has brought more to the table than just his offensive prowess by also thriving on the defensive end, which has benefitted the Celtics.
Walker’s defensive play has certainly been noticed and appreciated by his teammates as the C’s so far post the third best defensive rating in the Eastern Conference.
“Has it surprised me? No. Do I want him to keep it up? Yes,” said Jaylen Brown. “I think if Kemba is really good defensively we are going to be a really good team.”
“He’s just always been a guy that’s willing to put his body on the line to win.”— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 26, 2019
Coach with high praise for the different ways @KembaWalker can impact a game.
Prior to Walker’s 32-point outburst in which he knocked down seven 3-pointers in Saturday’s win over the New York Knicks — Walker also had two steals and finished as a plus-13 — he put together a Marcus Smart-like defensive performance in the victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Walker sacrificed his body time and time again by taking four charges against the Raptors as Walker, who is in his ninth season and coming off of an All-NBA Third Team selection in his final year in Charlotte, currently ranks in the top three in the NBA in charges taken.
Voting is open now. Kemba. For 1st Team All Defense.— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) October 26, 2019
LGI tonight! pic.twitter.com/RL3ckjLRyp
While that pace can’t be sustained, Walker’s contributions not only on offense, but on defense as well will only help to raise the ceiling of this Celtics squad.