BOSTON — The Celtics — mired at a three-game losing series, and having lost eight of their previous 11 matches — found themselves down 18-4 five minutes to Friday night’s match against the Indiana Pacers. It was the type of performance which, had lovers been permitted to TD Garden, would have been met with a hearty round of boos.
But instead than resigning himselfand his group, to a different ugly loss at a stretch filled with these, Kemba Walker place the Celtics on his spine. And on a night once the team’s youthful All-Stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, were not successful, it was Walker who scored 32 points and made six assists to take Boston into some desperately desired 118-112 success within the Pacers.
“I really don’t believe we win the match with no will,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens stated. “I think no matter how everybody is acting, when the thing was 18-4, he had been the loudest voice. He willed us back to that matter. And today, we are back to our bottom, [and] we’ve got a bit of assurance, that has been taken this week.
“But that is what really great players do. That is what veterans do. That is what guys which have been there, done that and done it for quite a very long time . I thought he led us tonight”
It has been difficult of a year for Walker separately as it’s been for the Celtics as a staff. Coming off a 12-week offseason strengthening schedule because of his troublesome left knee which caused him to miss the first few months of the year, Walker entered Friday night shooting 37.5percent in the field — that the second-worst proportion of his livelihood.
On this particular night, however, Walker appeared every bit the All-Star that he was last season ahead of the knee issues began.
“I try to bring this aspect to the game each night, my direction,” Walker stated. “I attempt to use my voice as far as possible to maintain up my teammates when things aren’t going well.
“I know men look to me in situations such as this, and you know, just try to remain optimistic, simply try to keep positive, and bring that energy into the group.”
Together with Tatum (4-for-18 shooting( nine points) and Brown (5-for-12, 15 points) not able to get it moving, it was a blend of those 2 things which have received the most scrutiny in Boston’s battles — Walker and the supporting cast — which allowed the Celtics to do this win.
“It has been a different experience than I have ever been part of, but it is always a learning experience,” Teague said. Tonight was a huge win for our staff; we played nicely. I am delighted to find lots of guys play nicely. So it was great for all of us.”
More than anything, it had been significant for the Celtics to find a win following having an ugly past few days which saw them drop New Orleans on Sunday after dismissing off a 24-point guide, fall to a last-second 3-pointer from Luka Doncic on Tuesday at Dallas, then get annihilated in Atlanta with no Walker (knee direction ) on Wednesday.
Following Friday’s triumph, everybody said how important it had been to find that collective poor taste from their mouths with a triumph, and Walker especially said it had been up into the group’s leaders to be certain that the Celtics remain together through their battles.
“We will figure it out,” Walker stated. “That is on me. That is on Jaylen. That is on Jayson. That is about the veteran men, in addition to Brad, also. We have got to keep it all together. We can not let go in any direction. Though things may not be going and we’d like it in the present time, but things can change really quickly, hence the only way you’re able to get from conflicts is by doing it together.”