The Boston Celtics had a lot riding on the return of Kemba Walker.
After missing the start of the season, the starting point guard finally made his way back last week. But of course, Boston was without star forward Jayson Tatum that night.
But finally, the trio of Tatum, Walker and Jaylen Brown have a game under their belt together. Though, a Wednesday loss to the San Antonio Spurs wasn’t exactly what fans had in mind.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens isn’t worried, though.
“Every year you’re a little different, you know, our team is not the same as they were last year,” Stevens said Friday after practice.
“So I think it’s as much of an adjustment as for everyone else as it is for who is going to rotate in for those guys, who is going to compliment those guys when they’re out of the game, how are we going to manage each of their minutes throughout the course of a long season and try to maximize them when they’re in there together. There’s all kinds of factors there, so I’m not worried about any of the finding an offensive rhythm playing together. I’m worried about our team making the right reads and defending. Those are the two things top of mind right now because those are the things we have to improve upon.”
Defense certainly should be the biggest priority for Boston. And now that Walker and Tatum are both back, some offensive pressure ideally should be relieved from Brown and Marcus Smart.
And after all, Walker hasn’t been completely unleashed as he’ll be on a minutes restriction for the next few weeks.