Kemba Walker is available to play for Boston today.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 17, 2021
Walker has not played for the Celtics since their Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Miami Heat. Having missed the latter part of the regular season last year due to swelling in his knee, Walker returned to the Celtics lineup during the bubble, starting on a minutes restriction before slowly ramping back up to full speed for the playoffs.
Those same knee issues reared their ugly head again as the Celtics got deeper into the postseason, with Walker’s production taking a hit as a direct result.
“Watching the games, even games we won, even games were played well, I could tell he wasn’t the same physically as he was in October, November, December So we’re going to try to get him back. I know Kemba wants to be out, be back 100% playing his best basketball. Even not his best, he still averaged 19 or 20 points a game … in the playoffs.” Dany Ainge
With Walker set to make his season debut after missing the first 11 games of the season, it remains to be seen how his presence affects the rotations.
Boston have been without multiple players due to injury and health and safety protocols recently, including Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams, and Carsen Edwards. Now with Walker’s return to the rotation, the team is closing in on full strength.
#NEBHInjuryReport Update:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 17, 2021
Tacko Fall (Left Ankle Sprain) - QUESTIONABLE
Daniel Theis - AVAILABLE
Kemba Walker - AVAILABLE
Kemba Walker has three years left on his $140 million contract, with a player option in final year. The four-time All-Star participated in 56 regular season games last year, averaging 20.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.
In the playoffs, Walker participated in 17 games, for an average of 36.9 minutes per game. Throughout Boston’s run to the conference finals, the UConn product produced 19.6 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds.
In his pre-game availability, Brad Stevens said that Kemba will be restricted to a 20-minute limit.