NBA Today: 3 Reasons why the Boston Celtics are so good right now
The Boston Celtics fell to a 107-104 overtime defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers last night, although Brad Stevens' team once again impressed as they pushed the title favourites all the way at Staples Center in a memorable clash fit for the postseason.
Despite their frustrating loss, they possess the joint-best record in the Eastern Conference alongside the Milwaukee Bucks. With games against the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and back-to-back encounters with the Brooklyn Nets before December begins, there's plenty for them to be optimistic about.
With just over a month of the season played, plenty could still change in the months ahead - although here we take a look at three reasons why the Celtics are so good right now.
#3 Kemba Walker's immediate impact
Kemba Walker endured the most difficult night of his Boston career to date on Wednesday, scoring just 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting against the Clippers. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard's elite defensive skills were enough to minimise Walker's in-game impact, however, this was a rare blip for the 29-year-old - who has enjoyed an excellent start to life in Boston.
Through 14 games this term, Walker is averaging 22.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 0.9 steals per game - while his three-point shooting has improved to almost 40%. The former Charlotte Hornets man also doesn't bring drama and disruption as his predecessor did.
While the Celtics fought each other for shots last season, Kemba has managed to get his teammates involved on the offensive end. Ultimately, Walker may not match Kyrie Irving's natural ability, but the veteran guard has proven an excellent addition to a young Boston roster who are exceeding early expectations.