Following Kemba Walker’s injury, the Celtics were looking rather thin at the point guard spot. With Brad Wanamaker, Marcus Smart, and Carsen Edwards the only real options to run the point, depth has become a slight issue.
Smart has spent more minutes playing at small forward (48.2) than the point guard position (19.28) so far this season as per Basketball Reference. While Wanamaker has shown solid improvements throughout the recent West Coast road trip. His scoring, assists, and three-point percentages all took a nice jump.
Edwards however, has been frustrating to say the least. He is capable of catching fire at any given moment, but he is just as likely to kill the flow of the offense as he tries to find his rhythm during games.
With Wanamaker likely to step into Kemba’s starting role while Smart continues playing the two-guard position, Edwards will be primed to step into the role vacated by Wanamaker, which in theory would free up around 11.6 minutes per game (Edwards current season average).
On Sunday, the Celtics called up two-way rookie guard Tremont Waters.
This comes as no real surprise. The Celtics needed guard depth while Kemba is recovering and Waters has been tormenting G-League defenses to start the season. In his first five games for the Red Claws, Waters has averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals on 31.6 minutes per game. Furthermore, he has been hitting the three at a 40 percent clip on nine attempts per game. His full averages are on the Red Claws website.
The 5’10’ guard out of Louisiana State has continued to answer any questions asked of him. Accumulating 1.6 steals per game is a product of hustle and determination. His ability to shoot the three and get others involved will also be invaluable to what Brad Stevens asks of his guards. With Waters still having all 45 of his two-way days unused, it makes sense that the Celtics have called him up.
What benefits the Celtics further is their next two opponents are also missing their starting point guards. Both Kyrie Irving and De’Aaron Fox will not be suiting up against the team this week.
This provides Waters with a greater chance of seeing the floor, and making an impact. The Nets are without a third-string point guard, making their bench unit susceptible to a quick and pesky guard who can light it up from range.
The Kings will most likely start with Cory Joseph and have Yogi Ferrell coming off the bench. Waters and Edwards could both capitalize on these second unit match-ups, while Waters would be gaining much needed NBA reps.
A point guard who is only 5’10’ and plays professional basketball will never have it easy. They will need to fight for everything the get. Waters has been doing that down in Maine, and now comes his first opportunity to fight for some NBA minutes.