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Kemba Walker (knee) remains out against Portland

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Boston will roll with Marcus Smart in the starting lineup once again.

Los Angeles Clippers v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Although Jayson Tatum has stepped up as the de-facto superstar for the Boston Celtics over the last month and beyond, the All-Star that Boston figured would be their best player this season – Kemba Walker – is still out with left knee soreness as the Celtics travel to take on the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time this season.

After getting his knee drained of fluid, the Celtics are taking a cautious and patient approach for Walker. The Celtics don’t need Walker in the dead of February. They need him in May, so they will take their time. Walker has missed 10 games this year, and the Celtics have gone 7-3 in those games. Last year, Walker played 79 games, but obviously, he didn’t have anything to look forward to that necessitated load management.

Robert Williams III is inching back toward game action. There’s not much to say beyond this:

The Boston Celtics will take on the Portland Trail Blazers (without Damian Lillard) tomorrow night at 10 PM EST.