Luke Kornet Applauds Celtics’ ‘Step Up’ Ability, Role Sacrifices

'We have a good group of guys who can all start for a lot of teams'


Jan 14, 2023

The Boston Celtics haven’t been fazed one bit by really anything and veteran Luke Kornet highlighted a few key reasons why that’s been the case this season.

With the Celtics positioned on several occasions to overcome and adjust, whether that’d be through injury or roles, Boston has succeeded each time. Not to mention it has paid dividends with the Celtics entering Saturday night’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets atop the NBA standings (31-12) — a position Boston has sat comfortably in for the better part of the campaign.

Most recently, Boston overcame the absences of Jaylen Brown and Al Horford to defeat the Brooklyn Nets on the road. Like Joe Mazzulla did following the win, Kornet issued praise to Boston’s ability to put the team first and made sure to point out Derrick White and Payton Pritchard.

“We’ve had different guys out at different times,” Kornet said pregame, per team-provided video. “The ability to have so many different players step up. Honestly, we have a good group of guys who can all start for a lot of teams. Some guys are taking roles that are different than what they could expect elsewhere, but I think that’s part of being a great team. And it’s fun for the opportunities of like Derrick and Payton.”

Kornet can also attest to that ability. He contributed 11 points with five rebounds and an assist against the Nets in 17 minutes off the bench. While Kornet doesn’t enter the double figures mark in scoring often, when he has, the Celtics have gone 5-0 this season. Kornet’s field goal percentage (68.2%) in 36 games has also marked a new career-high for the 27-year-old.

Despite missing Brown, and Jayson Tatum playing through a lingering injury, the Celtics have generally been dominant aside from a few minor cold streaks. Prior to game time in Charlotte, Boston had won five consecutive games.

“We have different guys, who just based on the matchup or how the game’s going or just the style of the game,” Kornet said. “We’ve been able to adapt pretty well, whether it’s some other person has a better matchup or advantage and using that, or shots aren’t falling and we find ways to offensive rebound. … I think that’s something that we’ve kind of stressed on: How can we win games even when we’re not playing well?”

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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