Although the Boston Celtics have fared rather well without Kemba Walker at times throughout his first season with the team, he completes the Celtics.
As the Boston Celtics are preparing for the playoffs, fans have had the pleasure of witnessing the art of Kemba Walker’s skills up close and personal this season. With that said, Walker is looking to turn it up a notch in the playoffs.
Most basketball players have mastered the elusive and more common step-back move to create space between a defender to get off an open shot… but not Walker. Dating back to his heyday at the University of Connecticut, Walker created his own move to create separation from defenders, it’s what I like to call a lock-step-forward move.
In doing this, Walker almost does the exact opposite of a true step-back. He literally steps forward while locking his left leg (which is used as his plant-leg like an NFL kicker) and then dragging his right foot back into position, which then forces the separation needed from his defender to give himself an uncontested shooting opportunity.
There’s more to it than what he’s just doing with his legs, Walker engages his whole body to pull off this move. He lowers his center of gravity by squaring up his body, leaning his head and pushing his chest towards the court, all while he stops on a dime which ultimately forces his desired separation.
As you see in the first video, Walker very quickly stops on a dime while leaning towards his right side before pulling himself back to take his shot.
In the second video, you’ll notice how he stops and drops his head while pushing himself towards the floor, which forces Landry Shamet to fall down. Walker then drags himself back for an uncontested shot from behind the arc.
Walker finished the regular season as the second-highest scorer on the Celtics this season with 20.4 points per game, as well as second in assists with 4.8 per game this year. With Walker on the floor, it’s incredibly challenging to come up with a defensive game plan for the Celtics.
Kemba Walker and his own form of the step-back completes the team for the Boston Celtics
With a core group consisting of Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward, it’s illogical for a team to successfully double-team one player on the Celtics. Each member of the core-four is capable of scoring and taking over games on any given night.
As Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown said:
“They [Celtics] have so much fire power. They really can score. They have four players that can get 30 on a given night. I feel like their ability to put points on the board, their ability to create shots is just lethal.”
The Boston Celtics will take on the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs starting on Monday in the third game of opening night. Celtics coach Brad Stevens says he thinks his team is ready for the playoff battle, but he knows Walker is “ready to roll.”
“He’s fine, he’s ready to roll. It’s been a good plan of attack by our training staff. And Kemba obviously played well and minutes wise, should be in good shape.” – Brad Stevens, per John Karalis of MassLive