Celtics Notes: Walker, Hayward, Brown, Waters

Kemba Walker didn’t find it remarkable that he was able to be a difference maker in Wednesday’s win over the Nets five days after spraining his neck, relays Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Walker scored 39 points and explained afterward that he recovered quickly from an injury that many feared was serious.

“I’ve been over it,” he said. “I mean, I could have played last game, honestly. But if I’m on the court, I’m on the court. That’s really it. I wasn’t out there thinking about anything. I wanted to win.”

Walker refused to get into the controversy involving Kyrie Irving, who was the target of chants throughout the game even though he wasn’t with his team because of an injured shoulder. Walker appreciated “MVP” support from Celtics‘ fans, but refused to say anything bad about the man he replaced in the Boston backcourt.

“I don’t really pay attention to the Kyrie stuff,” he said. “That’s just the fans and how they feel. That’s not something I’m really paying close attention to. And of course the MVP chants are really great. It’s always a great feeling to have support from your fan base, and I most definitely appreciate this fan base.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Nearly three weeks after breaking a bone in his left hand, Gordon Hayward feels ahead of schedule in his recovery, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. A timetable hasn’t been set for Hayward, who was projected to be sidelined for six weeks after having surgery November 11. He participated in shooting drills earlier this week, tweets Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe.
  • Jaylen Brown has raised his game in the wake of Hayward’s injury, Blakely writes in a full story. Brown, who received a four-year extension last month, has averaged 19.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per night since Hayward got hurt. “We have a next-man-up mentality around here,” Brown said. “When someone goes down, it’s an opportunity for someone else to step up. Some nights, it’s gonna be me. Other nights, it might be someone else. The thing is, you just have to make sure you stay ready and when your time comes, make the most of it. That’s basically what I’m trying to do when I’m out there; do whatever I can to help the team win.”
  • Tremont Waters admits being nervous during his NBA debut Monday, relays Tom Westerholm of MassLive. Despite shooting 2-of-7, Waters had a plus-20 rating for the game. “It’s a surreal feeling,” he said. “Kids dream of this moment, and to be able to be in this position, to go from the G League, obviously I’m working on my game, to come to the NBA level and to help the team actually get a win definitely feels good, but I’m not satisfied with it. Just got to keep working and everything else will definitely play itself out.”

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