Kemba Walker and the new Celtics: The definitive basis of the Brad Stevens project?

After Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving, Kemba's arrival in Boston marks the signing of the third major base in recent years; Next season, key to the project.

The NBA transfer market is being frantic and full of surprises. You have to look back to remember a summer as movidito as this. Durant and Kyrie caused the first major earthquake with their arrival in the Nets, Westbrook was going to the Rockets and Kawhi Leonard signed for the Clippers with Paul George achieving a rarely seen impact on the road. In addition, for the Spanish fans the fun continued with the march of Mirotic to Barça and that of Pau to the Blazers.

However, there is a movement that has gone unnoticed and that has not had an impact as large as the rest: Kemba Walker's arrival at the Celtics. The former Hornets player leaves what has been his only franchise in the 8 seasons he has been in the North American competition.


It is not just any signing; arrives to replace the march of Kyrie Irving and become the face of the Stevens project in the Boston Celtics, the most successful franchise in the history of the NBA ... and has not seen a ring since 2008. 111111 Walker has always been far from the lights of the League, and the soap opera Kyrie has left him in the background. The player of the Nets today has been protagonist after his departure, and the Bostonians have stopped being in the spotlight for a few weeks.


Will they be again? Surely yes. It is a team that has already shown that it knows how to compete, and when it has best done it is when it has not had any pressure in between. Like now. And it's something that doesn't hurt them: Kemba's arrival involves building the team around the third major base of the project. After Isaiah Thomas and the aforementioned Kyrie Irving, the former Hornets star will become the offensive reference of a team that is examined next year.

From the illusion to the doubts: the project falters

When Stevens arrived in 2013 the team already had a great base: Rajon Rondo. However, the coach knew that he had to leave the past behind and sought the transfer for the last of the heroes of the much remembered ring of 2008. That year the franchise ran out of final phase, but since then they have always been in the qualifiers for title. The Celtics did nothing but improve year after year and the Eastern finals of 2017, after the first regular season over 50 wins since 2011, filled the Garden fans with hope.

The following year, Isaiah Thomas, hero of the season of the greens and those playoffs (in which he ended up injured), he packed his bags to live away from Boston his particular fall to hell. Irving arrived, one of the greatest talents in the League. A base that had been essential in achieving the Cavaliers ring in 2016 and that had demonstrated an innate ability to play basketball.

The first year he was injured and the Celtics were one step away from the Finals losing in the seventh game of the Eastern final (in the Garden) against the Cavs of LeBron. In the second year, Kyrie was healthy and the team fell in the semifinals against the Bucks. By 4-1. The initial illusion gradually turned into a nightmare and ended in the only possible way: in catastrophe.

It was this year that the first cracks of the Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens project were seen. Bleeding wounds that they never experienced and that came to light throughout the campaign, many of them with Irving as responsible. That traditional choral game of recent years was cracking, personalities grew, internal fights became public and the disunity of the costumes went from being a slight suspicion to becoming something obvious.

And not only that. In the five courses in which Stevens had taken charge of the team, he had only improved. In regular season, where each year added more and more victories. Also in playoffs, where they were getting further and closer (or so it seemed) inexorably to the ring. In the sixth Indiana coach campaign, everything changed. Less victories (49 for the 55 of the previous year or 53 of 2016-17), and worse in the playoffs (semifinals after two Eastern finals in a row) .

They had the best offensive rating of the Stevens era (112.2) but the team had always been characterized by their great defense and in the last year they were not fine: 107.8, the second worst balance of the team since the arrival of the coach. In addition, there has been less participation of the secondary ones, and there has been a player who has assumed too much ball for which the Garden was accustomed. One thing was clear: with Irving the team has worsened.

There is no doubt that the project has taken a downturn jusor in the year in which they were asked for the championship. At the beginning of the course in Las Vegas they were projected 57.5 victories and have remained in 49. They were called to become the heirs of the East LeBron post. And they were given a thousand and one opportunities, while people were convinced that in the playoffs they would change the chip and transform themselves into a competitive team overnight. It wasn't like that. 444444 Kyrie leaves and Kemba arrives. Do the Celtics win or lose?

It is a question that cannot be answered with a single word. We have already said that the team has worsened with Irving, but we must bear in mind that in Boston they have not only lost him. Rozier, someone key in the 2018 playoffs and directly harmed by his former partner (shared position), has left precisely to the Hornets. Horford, defensive pillar, veteran tanned in a thousand battles and support of the team on the track and in the locker room, has also said goodbye (heading to some Sixers that will be scary again).

They are not unimportant casualties. And it is true that Kemba has arrived, but little else. There is Kanter, who loses in the comparison with Horford, the man he replaces. Especially in defense. Of course, beyond Rozier they keep Brown, Tatum, Smart ... that young nucleus who looked like he was going to knock on the doors of the All Star last season but could not develop all his powers next to Irving.

But do they really lose out on the Celtics? It doesn't seem so clear. Views can change quickly. Going from Irving has gone, when they have got rid of Irving, it doesn't seem so far-fetched. The quarrels in the locker room and the disunity of the players are over (apparently). Also (apparently) personalities on the track and out of it. Kemba is a team man of calm character who does not grab as many lights as his predecessor. He also knows (apparently) that he has a good chance to be able to go far in an East without an owner after the march of his last king (Kawhi) .

Apparently, his adaptation to the team and his game may be more collaborative than before. , while young people can develop again and reach higher levels. Especially Brown and Tatum. That Irving is not there will be a release for them. And they will have Kemba next door, which in addition to everything said is very good. He became the Hornets franchise player and averaged 25.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists in the last course with a 60-point game against the Sixers. And he comes to play the 82 games of the regular season, so he is healthy.


And there is one more fact to have in question. Boston needs Kemba, and Kemba needs the Celtics. The base has not even been close to the ring in a project of want and I can not in the Hornets, and needs to square well in a franchise in need of good players and new idols. The same happens to the Celtics: Tatum and Brown have not reached enough mental maturity to be the leaders of an aspiring team. The arrival of Kemba will allow them to play without pressure and take off a shadow along the way, that of Kyrie, who seemed to drown them.

Start a new chapter in Boston. A chapter within an era, that of Stevens, which has seen how a project that was going well was breaking down in a last year that has ended in catastrophe. The coach can start again without pressure, but at the same time he will be required results in his seventh season in the team. Next year there will be a great test that can mark, once again, the future of the franchise. Kemba and the Celtics begin a path with an uncertain ending. We'll see where it takes them.


Photos from
Powered by Blogger.