Kemba Walker logged just 19 minutes in the Boston Celtics' opener on Friday against the league-best Milwaukee Bucks. There was some concern about Walker's knee issue leading up to the game, and we now have an update on his status following Saturday's practice session.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens himself provided the positive update on his star point guard's knee:
“He was great,” Stevens said in an afternoon video conference, via John Karalis of MassLive.com. “It wasn’t a heavy practice, obviously, with a 3:30 game tomorrow. But he was great, responded well, and he will incrementally increase his limit.”
Walker talked to the press after Friday's 119-112 defeat against the Bucks, and the All-Star point guard shared his current mindset:
“I’ve just got to stay positive, and just keep on knowing that it’s part of the bigger picture,” Walker said after last night’s game. “My minutes will gradually go up game by game depending on how my knee acts after every game. So, I’m feeling good.”
It appears that Walker will be able to log minutes in the mid-20s on Sunday when the Celtics take on the Portland Trail Blazers. This won't necessarily be a must-win game for the C's, but Friday's loss, coupled with a Miami Heat victory on Saturday, has reduced the gap between these two teams by just a game and a half.
Boston still currently occupies the third spot in the East, but another loss against the Blazers on Sunday would soften their grip on the third seed.