Skip to main content

The Kemba Conundrum

 

Boston, we have a problem.

As many know, the sequel to the greatest basketball movie ever made - Space Jam - is set to release this coming summer. As any film aficionado knows, the premise of the first movie involves a group of aliens who steal the talents of NBA stars such as Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing in order to beat the Looney Tunes in a game of basketball.

With the second film imminent, it seems likely that the Monstars are on the hunt for talent again, and they may have already gotten to Kemba Walker.

All joking aside, Kemba's performance of late has been concerning at best, and catastrophic at worst. And, even if Lebron is able to save the day and return his powers, I'm not convinced how much help he'd offer the Cs anyways.

To be effective, Kemba needs to have the ball in his hands. While he competes defensively, his size will always make him a liability on that end. Likewise, he is not a maestro floor general like Chris Paul or Steve Nash, so looking for buckets is his main value. 

Obviously, Walker hasn't looked good in his return from his chronic knee issues. He is struggling to get separation, and lacks the explosion and lift that made him such a dynamic player in the past. If this is the Kemba that we're going to get from now on, he will have to drastically change his game to even stay on an NBA roster. 

I doubt that Kemba will be a 30% shooter for the rest of his career, however. Yet, even if he were to regain his All-Star form from last year, where does that leave the green? It's quite obvious at this point that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are the present and future of this roster, and everything this team does should revolve around them. Unless Kemba is actively looking to average 10 APG feeding the Jays, any possession run through him is a wasted one. The more reps that Brown and Tatum - and, to a lesser extent, guys like Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard - get to run the offense the better, as all of those players have plenty of room to grow as scorers and facilitators. Taking those away to try and wring some value out of Kemba's max contract does nothing to improve the title chances of this team in the short or long term.

So what is there to do? Walker's trade value at the moment is approximately two paper clips and a peanut butter sandwich, so there's really nothing to be done there. Likewise, moving him to the bench brings a whole other host of problems. Turning your All-Star, 30 million dollars a year PG into a glorified (and possibly not as good) Lou Williams would be a nightmare for all parties involved, so that seems unlikely as well. And, even if he shakes the rust off and starts playing at a high level, is that any better? Every play for a 30 year old Kemba is one less for the young, developing pieces of the roster. Even if it wins a few more games in the short term, nobody can argue that that would be helpful to the long-term chances of this squad.

Kemba has, at this point, become an issue for the Celtics. And it's up to Danny and Brad to find a solution - sooner rather than later. 


Photo Credit

Comments

  1. I love Kemba Walker. His smile is infectious. When at his best he can absolutely be a difference maker. However it may not be a big enough difference to warrant starters minutes anymore. Kemba’s value has always been his non-reluctance to shoot the three. He can get a lot of points very quickly. With Pritchard on this team it no longer justifies playing Kemba starters minutes. PP shoots the three at higher percentage, turns the ball over less, and is a better defender. As much as it pains me to say this, Kemba either needs to accept a 6th man role or be open to a trade. Whatever he chooses I will always root for him.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Sign the Petition! Let's honor Tommy Heinsohn

  No longtime Celtics fan can watch games this year without a somewhat heavy heart. For the last 50 plus years, we have been blessed as a franchise to have Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtic himself, as a part of the organization. Whether it be as a player, coach, or commentator, Tommy has been an instrumental figure for the green, and his presence is missed on every broadcast. Nobody embodied what it meant to be a Celtic more than Tommy, and I know I miss his energy and ferocity every time Scal claims the refs "made the right call" against the Cs. While Tommy obviously belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics, he is often overlooked in his place among the greats of NBA history. Looking back upon his life, one would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger impact on NBA basketball than Mr. Celtic. For those who are unfamiliar, let's do a quick review. Tommy is one of 2 people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach (the other being the indomitable Len

We may be glad Danny Ainge rolled the dice on Theis

Frankly, I was not sure if Danny Ainge would ink Daniel Theis to a new deal, but it looks like a good move. Theis is signed for two years at a total of $10 million, with the second year non-guaranteed. With the departure of big men Al Horford and Aron Baynes, rolling the dice on Theis could work very well. In his first season in Boston, Daniel just kept improving. For the pre-All-Star stretch, he averaged 14.5 minutes/Game, 5.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG while shooting 52% on field goals and 30% on treys. Post-All-Star his minutes increased to 18.4 per game, his points to 7.8/game and his boards to 5.3/game. And he shot 68% on field goals and 40% on 3-pointers. Then a meniscus tear shut him down. His minutes and production took a hit last season, in part most likely due to lagging recovery from the injury. Right now he is playing on German's entry in the FIBA World Cup. In a game versus The Czech Rebublic, he scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds, passed off for three assists and blocked tw

What Jeff Teague can bring to the Celtics offense

Bringing in Jeff Teague as some guard depth this year could end up being a monumental move for this year's Celtics team. Teague is a well respected veteran in the league, and having gone to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015 with the Atlanta Hawks, knows what it takes to win tough games. Here's a brief look at why I think Jeff will be a great fit with the C's Every Celtics fan loves Marcus Smart , due to everything he brings to the table, from the defensive intensity to scoring outbursts. For all the good things he does, Marcus excels off ball, and can have his effectiveness diminished when he is forced to be a primary ball handler. He is often pigeon-holed into that role with the second unit (or when Kemba is out), and Teague's addition will hopefully allow him to play more off-ball and maximize his abilities.  At the deadline last year, Teague was traded to the Atlanta Hawks to play alongside Trae Young. His usage rate and effectiveness dipped considerably, as he