NBA fans will get to see at which stage of preparation the teams are in next week’s exhibition games. Players and coaches are hoping that the four months of hiatus didn’t affect anyone’s condition. Nonetheless, they will have to find their rhythm and stamina back as soon as possible.
The first eight seeding games will breeze by so fast, and the teams will have to be ready once the Playoffs arrive. Fortunately, the majority of players had their ways of keeping in shape during the lockdown. However, some players may have found the rest period still lacking, such as Kemba Walker.
Earlier reports about Walker’s health have been confusing. One day they’ll say that Walker is still recovering for a nagging injury. The next, they’ll say that he’s playing at the top of his game. Enes Kanter wanted to put an end to the discussion by claiming that the Celtics are in tiptop shape. He said,
“Quarantine time was important to just heal and get healthy. But now, man, the NBA should be scared because everybody is healthy now, everybody is 100 percent now, and everybody is going at it.”
Considering that Kanter has unlimited access to the Celtics’ locker room. His claims do have credibility in them. Kanter has been vocal throughout his career and speaks his mind freely. However, they may hold Walker back for the seeding games, but they’ll need him for the first round if they face the 76ers.
If Walker sits out the eight seeding games, Tatum will have to step up as the team’s leader on the floor. The sophomore forward has shown flashes of his superstar potential, and the bubble is a good platform for another showcase.
Tatum will be flanked by dependable players in Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. He will also be assisted by Gordon Hayward for some wing scoring. Nonetheless, Tatum will need to find a dominating factor to force their opposing teams’ defense to collapse on him. Walker has been terrific in that playing style, and Tatum has big shoes to fill in.
The Celtics also need their big men to defend the paint better. Enes Kanter and Daniel Thiess are dependable rebounders and scorers. However, they’re not known for their choking defense. As such, communication from Tatum will be important to keep the team gelled on the court.
Image from NBA/ YouTube thumbnail
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