The Eastern Conference Finals almost are upon us.
While it’s certainly nothing to take for granted, it’s something the Celtics, despite their young age, have experience with. Boston now has advanced to the series three times in the last four seasons, while playing playoff basketball each of the past six years.
Nine-year NBA veteran Kemba Walker, on the other hand, hasn’t experienced a postseason run quite like this. Walker’s teammates are excited for the All-Star point guard, who’s finally experiencing a real playoff run. And he admitted it.
“To have a player like Kemba, who’s the ultimate competitor, unselfish — he doesn’t care if he scores 30 or two points — he just wants to win,” Marcus Smart said Friday, as seen on NBC Sports Boston.
“He’s excited right now, as he should be. He worked his whole life for this. He’s a great player and he should have this opportunity. To be a part of this is just a great feeling and I’m happy for him.”
Head coach Brad Stevens had a message of his own for the first-year Celtic, who signed in free agency after eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets.
?We?ve been really spoiled here the last few years, getting a chance to do this (playoffs) … so I?m really happy for him,” Stevens said. “He deserves to experience this. He?s everything that?s good about basketball. He loves the game, he?s a great teammate and he doesn?t care if he gets any of the glory. He’s just a special guy.”
Walker called it a “special feeling,” but knows the work isn’t over yet. Now, he and the Celtics can earn a trip to the NBA Finals by advancing past the Heat in the best-of-seven series.
Boston will play the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the conference finals Tuesday.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images