There’s a ton of good news that came out of the Boston Celtics’ first practice following their scrimmage debut loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chief among the good news bits is the fact that Kemba Walker and Romeo Langford, both of whom missed Friday afternoon’s game, were full participants in practice today.
Romeo Langford and Kemba Walker were full practice participants today after missing yesterday’s game. Stevens said Kemba has his burst back and looks good.— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 25, 2020
In the case of Walker, particularly, seeing that he has his “burst back” is great news. What appears to be the case is that Walker’s timeline and workload just is mismatched with Boston’s schedule. Although he’s missing important moments like the team’s first hard practice and also the team’s first scrimmage, he’s not actually behind in any way.
Stevens noted that Walker is technically healthy enough to play tomorrow against the Phoenix Suns, but he might not play because of how his recovery/ramp-up timeline matches up with the team’s schedule. As long as Walker is good to go by Friday night, the beginning of the seeded games, that should be good enough. For Boston, the team’s time inside the bubble is a marathon, not a sprint.
As for Romeo Langford, it appears that he just caught a brief stomach bug. It makes sense that the team would keep him out for showing any signs of any illness, but thankfully, he appears ready to go. The scrimmages could be a great opportunity for him to carve out a more permanent spot in the rotation in the team’s restart in Orlando. He had several standout moments on the defensive end throughout the regular season, but now he needs to show that he can make shots at this level to get consistent minutes.
Brad Stevens' answers today are further confirmation that Kemba is feeling good and the Celtics feel good about where he is. Just being cautious and smart ahead of a rigorous August schedule.— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) July 25, 2020
Although Boston lost their opening scrimmage, there’s plenty that the team can learn from it. Stevens limited the team to just playing 8 rotation players in the first half, so that prevented him from tinkering to find a way to stop Steven Adams from absolutely decimating the Celtics. Perhaps the Celtics will take a different approach as they face the Suns tomorrow.
The Boston Celtics take on the Phoenix Suns tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST on League Pass/NBC Sports.