Boston Celtics: Why Kemba Walker makes the C’s better than last year

NBA Boston Celtics Kemba Walker (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
NBA Boston Celtics Kemba Walker (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

 As great as Kyrie Irving may be, with Kemba Walker in the fold the Boston Celtics will be a bigger threat in the Eastern Conference

The Boston Celtics have been one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference over the last couple of seasons.

Leading the way was point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving has been a perennial all-star throughout his career and has long been considered one of the elite playmakers in the NBA. However, Irving is now a Brooklyn Net, as he elected to leave Boston in free agency. It left with the Celtics having to move on, in the way of adding Kemba Walker as his replacement.

There has been a lot of debate on if the Celtics can still remain a contender in the East, however, I believe that not only can they remain in contention but could be an ever-stronger team with Walker at the helm.

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Yes, Irving is a premier player at his position but Walker is also an upper-tier player in his own right. Let’s compare the players by first looking at the numbers.

Last season, Irving averaged nearly 24 points per game with almost seven assists to go along. However, Walker put up over 25 a game himself with six assists. Comparable numbers to say the least and Walker put even better scoring numbers on the board. The NBA is more than a numbers game, however, so let’s look at how each player affected their respective franchises.

Irving has always had competitive talent around him. It never hurts to have LeBron James as a teammate, as was his time in Cleveland, but the Celtics also boast a very talented, albeit young roster. Walker has not been quite as fortunate with his supporting cast. The most notable teammate Kemba has had is Dwight Howard who is far removed from his days in Orlando.

Despite this, the former UCONN product has carried the Hornets to the playoffs multiple times in this tenure, which is no small task considering he has done virtually all the heavy lifting for his franchise.

Irving has established star power which is well deserved, however, Walker is a multiple time all-star in his own right and was All-NBA this past season. Kemba Walker is legit. We can debate star power all day long but the results are there.

What does this mean for Boston?

If you look back a couple of seasons ago, the Celtics made an incredible run in the playoffs. The amazing thing is they did it without Kyrie Irving who was injured. The C’s have great young building blocks in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. They also have an established veteran in Gordon Hayward who was on the fast track to becoming a star in Utah and hopes to get back on that same track in Boston.

Team chemistry seemed to become an issue last season as rumors started circulating that Irving could be a difficult presence in the locker room. If this is true than Boston could be better just from a team chemistry standpoint alone. As for Walker, there hasn’t been a real opportunity to win in Charlotte, however, the former Husky does play with a winners mentality.

I know there are worries that some of the same troubles could arise as before because Walker is a ball dominate guard much like Irving. However, I do believe Kemba will be a better teammate and will adjust his game for the better of the team.

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There should be plenty of optimism in Boston for this upcoming season. Kemba Walker is a star who was overlooked for far too long. Now Walker and the Celtics have the opportunity to show the league that they should not be overlooked any longer.