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Doc Rivers on Celtics’ Kemba Walker acquisition – It ‘was huge’


Los Angeles Clippers head coach and former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers praised Boston’s aggressiveness in signing All-Star point guard Kemba Walker this past summer.

Rivers called the move “huge” ahead of the Clippers’ matchup with the Celtics on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. Rivers also stated that Walker’s reputation as a “glue guy” was exactly what this young and hungry Celtics team needed:

Walker has brought his high level of play to Beantown, averaging 23.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds in his first 13 games while also shooting close to 40 percent from beyond the arc.

However, the most important results have come in the team’s win-loss column. The Celtics are 11-2 after beating the Phoenix Suns on Monday night, and they have now won 11 of their last 12 matchups.

As good as the numbers suggest that Walker has been on an individual level, he is actually struggling to convert from midrange, shooting just over 24 percent on all shot attempts between three feet and 16 feet, a pretty woeful number.

Instead, Walker has apparently created a winning culture in Boston that has resulted in improved play from the likes of  Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Rivers knows something about winning culture, having coached Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008. He also led the Clippers to the playoffs even after they lost their best player (Tobias Harris) at last year’s trade deadline.

Whereas Walker is tasked with leading Boston’s young group of players, the Clippers are driven by the superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who will play their first game together on Wednesday.