Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Kemba Walker participates in full practice ahead of Celtics two-game set vs 76ers

The Celtics and 76ers are scheduled for a two-game set in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Friday night respectively.

While the Sixers have gotten off to a good start with new coach Doc Rivers, they have had a fair share of COVID health and safety issues, such as getting their matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder postponed on Sunday.
"We never felt like this game was in flux," Brad Stevens said Tuesday afteroon following the team's practice in Boston. "It sounded like that was a testing issue and so we always felt like we were going to play this game. Right from the get-go, that was what was communicated to us from — at least communicated to me via our front office. I haven't thought twice about that."
The Celtics, who have had health protocol issues of their own, are 8-4 on the season and currently in a three-way tie for the best record in the East along with Milwaukee (9-5) and Philadelphia (9-5). The Sixers are 7-1 at home and Joel Embiid will make his return Wednesday after sitting out Saturday with a knee injury. This should be a good test for Boston even without Jayson Tatum in the lineup, who's in quarantine due to testing positive for coronavirus
"Sixers are a really good team. They have been for the last few years," Stevens said. "Obviously, Embiid and Simmons are special. They've surrounded those guys with really good players. The guards are playing great — (Tyrese) Maxey and (Shake) Milton are having a great year, Tobias Harris is a really good player, obviously, and on down the line. They've got a really nice team and not a surprise they've started the way they've started."
With Kemba Walker back in the fold after making his season debut on Sunday in the Celtics' 105-75 blowout loss to the Knicks, the All-Star guard said his left knee was "pain-free" for the first time in about a year. According to Stevens, Walker's knee responded well, as he went through an entire practice on Tuesday without any limitations in an effort to rebuild trust and chemistry with his teammates.
"If we're going to be a good team and we want to compete with the teams that are the best in the league, we don't have a shot if Kemba Walker — if we don't let him be him,' Stevens said. "I think that's really important. That's the great thing about Kemba, when he comes back, he's going to be everything that he's always been and he's a great encourager of everyone else to continue doing what they're doing."
Though the Celtics will be without their young star in Tatum tomorrow, he has not been ruled out for Friday which is still to be determined. Robert Williams III has been cleared from health and safety protocol after missing the last three games and will be available against the Sixers.

Boston and Philadelphia tip-off on ESPN Wednesday night at 7:00 pm EST.

Watch Stevens' full post-practice presser below: 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Associated Press

No comments:

Post a Comment