Most of this season for the Boston Celtics, it has been either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown leading the team while Brad Stevens searches for some type of help heading into the playoffs. The entire roster will need to put in a full effort, but it starts with the likes of Kemba Walker stepping up and contributing on the offensive effort.
Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic, Kemba Walker did just that. He scored 32 points in a top-level game from him. Yes, the Magic are just ready for the season to end, but that does not diminish any kind of quality play the Celtics can get from Walker with six games left in the season. They will need games like this to compete in the playoffs.
The key to Kemba’s game is getting out the gates early. He always needs to get a few buckets and gain that rhythm. He scored 12 early points in the first quarter to establish his presence in the game.
It may have been the first two baskets of the game, but these are where Kemba Walker thrives. A clank here and there would normally set the stage for him to be a pass first facilitator. They need him to be offense driven. Even though Jaylen Brown was out for this matchup against the Magic, Kemba understood his role to get the offense going.
A game such as this is a great place to build good habits going forward. The Magic are a team who have given up this season, but it is still a game that can get Walker into a shooting rhythm. He shot 11 of 18 from the field and 6 of 9 from three-point range.
Everyone knows the best style of Kemba Walker is coming off the screens to pull up to an open three. In this clip, he takes that big time Robert Williams screen and walks right up to an open shot. In a matchup against any slower big man, the Celtics will need to toast him on the screen. They can easily cause that miscommunication with the opponent’s defense that leads to an open shot. Any time that big drops back, Kemba will take that space and put up an easy three-point attempt.
Games like this from Kemba Walker prove exactly why the Celtics gave him that big contract. No one could have predicted injury troubles that have plagued him, but Wednesday night was a sign of what the fan base can hope for moving forward. After the game, Walker said, “it felt great to be out there. I’ve been missing it.” It is everyone that has been missing these games, and it is good to know that Kemba feels ready to have a grueling next month of constant play.