The Boston Celtics moved atop the Eastern Conference standings with a thorough dismantling of the Orlando Magic on Friday, moving them to 8-3 on the season. It’s an excellent record for any team, but especially one that has been without the services of their All-Star point guard, as Kemba Walker missed the first 11 games of the season rehabbing from a procedure on his knee this offseason.
On Sunday morning, Brad Stevens announced that Walker would indeed be making his season debut for their game against the Knicks that afternoon, with the All-Star being restricted to playing 20 minutes in his first game back. The Celtics will be careful in bringing Walker along, particularly given how his issues with that knee last season lingered and caused him to be not his normal self in the Bubble. Still, getting him back in the rotation figures to only elevate what has been the league’s sixth best offense to start the season.
One would expect in games Walker plays that Payton Pritchard and Jeff Teague will see reductions in playing time, as they will not have to rely as heavily on their point guard reserves. We’ll find out on Sunday how quickly Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown can regain their rhythm and continuity together, but Walker’s return is a welcome sight for the Celtics.