Tremont Waters turned heads Monday night, but his teammates were not among those surprised by the rookie guard’s impressive debut.
The 5-foot-10 Waters racked up seven points, two rebounds and three assists and was a team-high plus-20 in the Boston Celtics’ thrilling win over the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Summoned from the Maine Red Claws in the wake of Kemba Walker’s neck injury, Waters logged 20 minutes while splitting time with backup guard Brad Wanamaker, who was in foul trouble throughout the game.
The 21-year-old also demonstrated the ability to give his team a spark with eye-opening ball-handling and general exciting play. Perhaps most importantly, Waters appeared poised and capable of settling things down, something fellow rookie guard Carsen Edwards at times has struggled with.
Waters’ mature play has earned him a rather odd nickname in the Celtics locker room.
Check out this tweet from NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely:
"Young old-head, that's what we call him." – #Celtics Jaylen Brown, referring to Tremont Waters. "He came out and played well. He makes the right decisions; he's hard to guard. He was good for us tonight."
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@ASherrodblakely) November 26, 2019
Whether Waters’ performance was enough to earn the youngster an increased role — perhaps over Edwards — remains to be seen. In all likelihood, he’ll be sent back down to the NBA G League for more seasoning.
Nevertheless, it was a strong debut for “Young Old-Head.”