Ainge On Walker’s Postseason Well being: Kemba Wasn’t Kemba

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dangolka (CBS) — Kemba Walker didn’t wish to make any excuses after the Celtics fell within the Jap Convention Finals, however the level guard was clearly not himself all through dangolka’s playoff run. Now that the season is over, the Celtics are going to do every little thing they will to get Kemba again to being Kemba.

Walker was slowed through the common season by a knee damage, which nonetheless hampered the 30-year-old when the NBA resumed motion within the Orlando bubble. It led to a minutes restriction in dangolka’s seeding video games and a slew of missed practices, although these limitations have been lifted when the postseason arrived. Walker was up and down all through dangolka’s playoff run, with some actually robust video games towards the Raptors within the East Semifinals, however nonetheless averaged 19.6 factors off 40 % capturing for the postseason.

Now the main target shifts to getting Walker again to full pace by the point subsequent season rolls round — every time which may be. Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge spoke with reporters through Zoom on Thursday morning, and mentioned the staff continues to be developing with an offseason plan for Walker. In the intervening time, Ainge doesn’t consider Walker will want surgical procedure on his knee, however mentioned that would change.

“Over the subsequent week to 2 weeks we’ll have a full plan for Kemba within the offseason, no matter what checks come again,” he mentioned. “No surgical procedure wanted that I’m conscious of right now. However I wasn’t there, I used to be watching from right here. I might see even earlier than the bubble began, which is why he was shut down a bit and did some energy coaching for the playoff run – he was undoubtedly not himself. In equity to Kemba, he doesn’t wish to say that; doesn’t say that to coaches, to the media, doesn’t say that to me. However watching the video games, even video games we gained and video games he performed nicely, I might inform he wasn’t the identical bodily. So we’re going to attempt to get that Kemba again.

“Even when he was not at his finest, he nonetheless averaged 20 factors within the playoffs. He was nonetheless an excellent participant, however not who he was,” added Ainge. “There may be nothing extra irritating for an athlete than not having the ability to be your self. I’ve been there earlier than and it’s not enjoyable. It’s anxious. And I do know Kemba went by that.”

This was the primary deep playoff run of Walker’s profession, and Ainge praised the purpose guard’s management all through his first season in dangolka on Thursday.

“He didn’t make any excuses and got here to play. He realized the second that he was in, he’s a participant who understood how particular it’s to be right here and have the alternatives he’s by no means had in his profession,” mentioned Ainge. “He all the time has a smile on his face and brings a pleasure to the sport and to the staff each day. He’s simply nice to be round. I really feel unhealthy that it was his first time on this stage and gave every little thing he had. He performed nicely however we all know that he wasn’t himself.”

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