With the rash of injuries the Boston Celtics have dealt with in the early part of the season, the team has received a good look at its depth.
And starting point guard Kemba Walker has been impressed with the players coming off the bench for the C’s that always seem to make an impact in some way.
That was the case again in Wednesday’s 140-133 victory over the Washington Wizards with Carsen Edwards showcasing his offensive arsenal by netting 18 points, Brad Wanamaker chipping in with 10 points and Vincent Poirier playing his first meaningful minutes.
For Walker, who scored a game-high 25 points, he knew it was the production in different aspects from the second unit that helped the Celtics extend their winning streak to nine games
“You just need guys to step up when their name is called,” Walker said. “You need guys to come in and play well. And we had the right guys.”
Poirier didn’t light up the stat sheet, but with the C’s down two big men already in Daniel Theis and Robert Williams III, he filled in nicely. Poirier played a whopping nine minutes — his high for the season — and totaled just three points, four rebounds and three assists, but the 7-foot center provided a much-needed presence in the paint and set solid screens on the offensive end.
“VP came in tonight and he played an amazing game,” said Walker of Poirier, who finished as a plus-10. “The numbers might not show, but he did so many great things out there.”
While Javonte Green didn’t have a big game, he continues to be a sparkplug off the bench and Semi Ojeleye can be a steadying force when he gets on the floor. After a strong start to his rookie season, Grant Williams is still finding his way, but his high IQ and hustle leads to quality play.
Edwards had the biggest impact of all the bench players against the Wizards. The 5-foot-11 guard had one of his more efficient games as a pro shooting the ball, making 7-of-12 shots, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.
“He was big time,” Walker said of Edwards.
Edwards has shown in glimpses he can be a high-volume, yet streaky scorer. If he can rack up the points on a more consistent basis, his playing time should increase.
But nevertheless, by just filling his role of dropping in one or two trifectas a game, he will, along with the other members of the second unit, continue to help the Celtics win games.