Kemba Walker, Celtics Laud Jabari Parker For Game 1 Impact Vs. Nets

Parker finished with a team-high rating of plus-seven in 22 minutes


The Boston Celtics’ Game 1 loss Saturday to the Brooklyn Nets overshadowed, and rightfully so, the performance of a pair of Boston reserves.

Robert Williams, for one, expressed how he couldn’t care less about his individual performance, which came with a franchise playoff record of nine blocks to go along with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Fellow reserve Jabari Parker also was impactful in his role off the bench. And seeing how the Celtics acquired Parker late into the season, his postseason production was welcomed, but not expected.

“I thought his energy was great,” Kemba Walker said on a video conference Sunday morning, per the team. “His attention to detail. Everything that we wanted and talked about in the scouting report, he did it. He kind of poses a different threat for us. He can get downhill. He can play in the post. He can make great passes out the post. He’s smart. He’s been around a lot of basketball.

“It’s good to have him,” Walker continued. “I’m happy he made that impact (Saturday) night, it was a really strong impact, so hopefully he can continue to do that.”

Parker recorded the highest rating on the team with a plus-seven in 22 minutes. Those minutes were second most of any player off the bench behind only Williams’ 23 minutes.

Head coach Brad Stevens was looking for scoring off the bench, and Parker helped fill that void. He scored a pair of early buckets before ultimately finishing with nine points on 3-for-6 from the field.

Parker, who has long been hindered by his defensive ability, actually held his own against Kevin Durant and James Harden, as well.

“I thought he was pretty darn good,” Stevens said Saturday night after the game. “And I think one of the things when you start thinking about how you’re going to guard Durant and Harden and the bigs and all that stuff, and obviously Irving, but we did a lot of switching. So, obviously Jabari has real size and he’s long. I thought he did a good job today on both ends.”

Parker likely earned himself another opportunity when the Celtics take the floor Tuesday against the Nets for Game 2 of the first-round playoff series. Brooklyn leads the best-of-seven series 1-0.

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