Kemba Walker is back on the floor for the Boston Celtics.
Their All-Star point guard from a year ago was out the first part of the season, having been on a 12-week strengthening and recovery program for a left knee that had bothered him last season and through the bubble. Walker made his season debut on Sunday against the Knicks as a starter, but with a 20-ish minute time limit coach Brad Stevens said pregame.
112 days removed from his last appearance (Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals), Kemba Walker is back on the floor at the Garden and will start against the Knicks this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/OH3KXbQYwX
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) January 17, 2021
Last season the Boston offense was 5.3 points per 100 possessions better when Walker was on the court, and he averaged 19.9 points per game, shooting 36% from three. This season Jayson Tatum and, in particular, Jaylen Brown have stepped up as playmakers, and Boston had the sixth-best offensive rating in the league (114) heading into games Sunday.
Boston has been one of the hottest teams in the East to start the season, despite losing a week of games due to coronavirus protocols. The return of Walker makes them more dangerous.