Pregame Post-Ups: C's Lose Walker, Williams for Game 4
Sunday, May 30 - Game 4 - Nets at Celtics
Pregame – Celtics To Play Without Walker and Williams
The Boston Celtics will be without both Kemba Walker and Rob Williams for tonight’s Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets. While their absences loom large, head coach Brad Stevens believes his team has plenty of firepower to get by and compete for a win.
That notion stands true at point guard, in particular, as Stevens relayed prior to tip-off against the Nets.
“Marcus (Smart) plays point even when Kemba is on the court some,” Stevens made sure to point out. “So Marcus will play point, Payton (Pritchard) will play point, Jayson Tatum will play point. We’ll be able to play different guys at the point.”
And while Smart, Pritchard and Tatum cannot individually replace what Walker brings to the table, they can combine forces to keep the Celtics just as competitive.
“Nobody does exactly what Kemba does,” the coach said, “but you play to your strengths. You replace what he brings to the table with several different guys doing their stuff well and getting more opportunity to do theirs.”
There will be one player in particular who will get more of an opportunity as the Celtics fill their open void in the starting five. That player is second-year wing Romeo Langford.
News broke about an hour before tip-off that Langford has been tabbed as the player who will start in Walker’s place. Langford is not nearly the same level scorer as Walker, but his defense and effort significantly impacted the Celtics during their victory in Game 3.
Langford played more than 27 minutes of that game and Boston outscored Brooklyn by 21 points during that time. The 6-foot-4 wing, who has a wingspan that surpasses 6-foot-10, totaled six points, six rebounds and one steal during that contest.
While Langford is being asked to fill some significant sneakers for his first career playoff start, it will be a collective effort for the Celtics as they look to overcome the absence of both Walker and Williams and grab a win to tie this series up.
- Marc D'Amico