A tough setback hasn’t shaken Kemba Walker’s faith in his team.
The Celtics point guard explained to reporters Wednesday night why he’s confident in Boston’s chances of beating the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The mentality the Celtics showed in their double-overtime loss to the Raptors in Game 6 gives Walker the belief that Boston will physically and psychologically rebound and ultimately prevail Friday in the do-or-die showdown.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Walker replied in a postgame press conference when asked if he’s confident in Boston’s Game 7 chances. “We’re great players. We are really competitive.
“That was a hard-fought game right there. We could have given up. We didn’t. We made plays throughout the whole game, two overtimes.
“I’m confident. We have a good group of guys and we love playing basketball with each other and we love making each other better. I know we’ll respond. We’re going to come out and play hard again.”
Walker demands the Celtics maintain that high standard of grit because he knows the Raptors will bring it, too.
“They’re a tough group, man,” Walker said. “They make big plays. They make big shots. They’re the defending champs. We’re going to get their best every single time. So, like I said, we just have to be better. We have to find a way.”
Walker endured an off-night in Game 6, scoring just five points on 2-for-11 shooting in 52 minutes of action. Walker knows he must perform better in Game 7 in order to improve the Celtics’ chances of winning.
Perhaps his postgame comments are a case of an athlete saying the right things in order to ensure everyone — himself included — is pulling in the same direction during a difficult situation.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images