Things looked good early.
Not just for the Celtics, but for Kemba Walker.
After Boston opened up its game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, Jaylen Brown got his team out on a 9-0 run, and the starting point guard followed that up with a 3-pointer of his own to extend the lead.
But the Celtics ultimately fell 122-108 to the Jazz, and that would end up being one of just two made field goals for Walker, who finished shooting 2-for-12 and scored just seven points in 30 minutes.
Since the starting point guard returned to the lineup on January 30, he’s dealt with a minutes restriction and scored more than 20 points just once, with the slump continuing the last two games.
Following the loss to the Jazz, coach Brad Stevens discussed what the team can do to to lift him up.
“We didn’t start the year with Kemba’s set of actions in, we’ve added those over the last month, but I think we need to look at ways to do a better job as a staff of helping him,” Stevens shared in his postgame media availability.
“Certainly, I think that we’ll keep going because I thought that he struggled to shoot it in each of the last two games but he’s doing a lot of other things. He’s a huge part of us, if we’re going to be what we want to be. And I really, really believe he will be that guy.”
Walker added seven assists and four rebounds against Utah with a number of solid plays getting others involved and visibly working hard.
And, it should be noted that in five of Walker’s six games back, he’s expressed how much of a toll quarantining in hotels on long road trips can take.
It also can’t be easy to integrate right into a lineup after not having training camp to help get ramp up for the season.
We’ll see if Walker and the Celtics reset when they get back home.