The NBA did not experience a singular crisis large enough to threaten the integrity of the bubble. Check that off as an accomplishment. Instead, the first week in Orlando featured stumbles exemplarily of how difficult this experiment projects to be over four months, never mind seven days. Those little developments could eventually add up as time passes. This introductory period could also be intended to get these hiccups out of the way early.
Between Richaun Holmes’ exit for take out food, Rajon Rondo’s Motel 6 jab, two positive COVID tests within the bubble, the lunchroom style meals, JR Smith’s shuttered documentation on Instagram live, along with Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard’s late arrivals — each day provided both small and large factors the NBA will inevitably juggle amid normal playoff logistics.
We discussed the various challenges facing the NBA this week on The Garden Report, as well as Celtics-specific storylines out of their first week of practice.
Kemba Walker did not practice on Sunday and Monday after being limited on Friday as he enters the NBA restart with similar knee soreness to what knocked him out of six out of 10 games in March. We updated his status entering today’s practice, and how Boston will play without him.
Walker could miss time through three scrimmages and eight regular season games in Orlando, a stunning turn one week after saying he feels much better after the time off. If the Celtics face a long-term absence of Walker, can they make it through the first and second round of the playoffs?
Enes Kanter raved about the impending return of Robert Williams among other Celtics running it back, with the squad healthy outside of Walker.
Williams labored with injuries for most of the season, missing 38 games during the winter, but displayed explosive athleticism and a change of pace at center in short stints of playing time. Will his presence be a possible x-factor or an irrelevant bench consideration?