For almost a decade, Kemba Walker was the Hornets’ main supply of offense. He could not depend on Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee or Nic Batum to assist him out as opposing defenses swarmed him everywhere in the flooring. He by no means uttered a unfavourable phrase, regardless of having each motive to complain concerning the entrance workplace’s failures in roster building.
In Tuesday’s Jap Convention semifinal matchup between the Raptors and Celtics, Walker didn’t appear like himself. By way of three quarters, the four-time All-Star guard had six factors on 2-of-14 taking pictures, together with seven misses from past the arc. It is the kind of recreation Walker’s Hornets would have misplaced earlier than the ultimate interval even started.
Now, it is tremendous if Walker has a nasty stretch. Or a nasty half. Or perhaps a dangerous 36 minutes.
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His teammates have been offering loads of assist all season lengthy, and so they did it once more in Boston’s Recreation 2 victory over Toronto, which gave the Celtics a 2-Zero sequence lead over the defending champs.
Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 34 factors; Jaylen Brown chipped in 16. Robert Williams III saved the Raptors from extending their lead within the first quarter with 10 factors off the bench. And, throughout a shocking sequence within the fourth, Marcus Sensible drilled 5 straight Three-pointers to show an eight-point deficit right into a lead.
“You recognize what I have been by means of. Everyone is aware of what I have been by means of,” Walker stated after the Celtics’ 102-99 win. “I have never been to the second spherical. Loads of instances in my profession, in video games like that, it most likely would’ve been a blowout. For me to have these guys who can step up and simply make big performs the way in which they did, it is particular.
“It is an amazing feeling to know guys acquired my again like that. I simply actually admire my teammates.”
That whole staff effort gave Walker the time to search out himself. He scored 11 of his 17 factors over the past 12 minutes of regulation, and made all 4 of his discipline objective makes an attempt within the fourth — together with a clutch step-back jumper with 41.6 seconds on the clock.
Walker understands he would not need to be “the person” always with these Celtics. Tatum has emerged as a legit star, Brown is constant on each ends and Sensible simply figures out a method to make profitable performs each recreation. Possibly Walker takes over on sure nights, however perhaps 15-20 factors and a few well timed photographs are sufficient.
From 2011-19, Walker gained three playoff video games with the Hornets. He now has six with the Celtics this yr alone.
It is an amazing feeling to know different guys have your again.