Considering the 2019-20 NBA season has been on pause since early March, it’s easy to forget some of the concerns each playoff-bound team faced ahead of the postseason.
Fortunately for the Boston Celtics, there weren’t many. Jayson Tatum was continuing to cement himself as a bonafide star, and the rest of the C’s seemingly were becoming more comfortable and in tune with their roles on the team.
There was — and perhaps still is — one major question mark looming over Boston, however.
The status of Kemba Walker’s knee is relatively unknown. The star point guard, who missed the Celtics’ first five games after the All-Star break due to the injury, said back in early April he was “doing well,” though he did acknowledge the difficulties of rehabbing away from the team facility. As such, ESPN’s big question for Boston following the lengthy pause on the season is a simple one: is Kemba healthy?
“Walker first missed games because of a knee issue, and then struggled upon his return,” Tim Bontemps wrote for ESPN.com. “If he’s fully healthy, Boston will be a threat to beat anyone. There’s one other question surrounding the Celtics: Where will the 76ers wind up? Boston would be thrilled if Philadelphia can slide ahead of the Pacers and get into fifth place in the East. While NBA fans would love a Celtics-Sixers showdown in the first round, Boston would not — Philly won three of four meetings this season by an average of 10.3 points before a 116-95 Celtics win in the rivals’ final meeting.”
Bontemps isn’t the only NBA mind who believes a fully healthy Celtics team can go toe-to-toe with the best of the best. In fact, Jalen Rose believes Boston will represent the Eastern Conference in the Finals.