The Boston Celtics will continue their cautious approach with Kemba Walker as the star guard won’t see action in back-to-back games just quite yet.
After a 112-106 loss to the Miami Heat Tuesday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens announced that Walker, who is battling a nagging knee injury and has played on a minutes restriction through the first three seeding games, will not play Wednesday versus the Brooklyn Nets.
Stevens says that while Walker will sit out tomorrow because he does not go hard two days in a row right now, they will ramp up his minutes more on Friday. Stevens expects no minutes limit by start of playoffs.— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) August 5, 2020
Walker played 27 minutes in defeat to Miami — the most minutes he has played in a game as part of the NBA’s restart — and scored 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting to go along with four assists. Walker played deep into the game against the Heat, which was unlike the Celtics first game versus the Milwaukee Bucks when Walker was taken out for good in the third quarter after playing 19 minutes. Walker found himself on the floor in crunch time as Stevens reinserted Walker back into the game with 3:46 left in the contest.
While Stevens and the Celtics have been careful with Walker’s minutes in the restart, it’s all by design to make sure he is fully healthy and ready for a full workload come the postseason.
“The only reason he’s not playing in a back-to-back is because we’re not going hard two days in a row and he’s continuing to strengthen right now,” Stevens said. “His minutes will incrementally increase again Friday, so by the time the playoffs roll around he’ll be up to his normal minutes.”