Kemba Walker never had won a playoff series to make it to the second round before his first season with the Boston Celtics.
But he certainly is acting like he’s been here before.
And after going up two games over Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Walker apparently was one of the players who rallied the Celtics together to prepare for their Game 5 win.
That wasn’t at all surprising for coach Brad Stevens.
“That’s a shocking headline, right? That Kemba Walker would be a great leader and pull people together when things aren’t going well,” Stevens joked Wednesday while doing a radio appearance with “Zolak & Bertrand” on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
But beyond just his leadership and accountability in the playoffs, Stevens also said he believes Walker is taking it all in, thoroughly enjoying the challenges that come along with his responsibility. Even after a loss.
“He’s unbelievable,” Stevens said. “The thing I would say about Kemba that stands out more than anything else, is I think he enjoys everything about this. I think he enjoys getting knocked to the mat in Game 3 and having to get everybody in a room and get everybody rallied back together. I think he enjoyed when we came up short in Game 4 with the way we played and saying now, we have to put that behind us, be resilient and show the best of ourselves. And then I think he enjoys the challenge of being down and coming back and then embracing the challenge of being up and having to maintain a lead. That dude just loves to play basketball and his personality is special, let’s put it that way.
We’ll see how Walker handles the moment Wednesday, as Boston has the opportunity to eliminate Toronto and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, where the Miami Heat await their opponent.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images