Walker makes season debut
BOSTON -- After only two full practice sessions since having arthroscopic knee surgery in early October, second-year guard Bill Walker logged two-plus minutes of scoreless court time in Wednesday night's 105-86 win over the Jazz at the TD Garden.
Walker, who appeared in 29 games last season for the Celtics and spent time with the Utah Flash of the NBA Development League, said he didn't have the same first-game butterflies he had as a rookie.
"Last year was kind of different; I didn't know what to expect," Walker said. "It caught me by storm. This year, I know what's going on; it wasn't that crazy."
What was crazy was that the 6-foot-6 Walker got matched up on 7-foot-1 Kyrylo Fesenko while playing at power forward.
"I subbed in for [Rasheed Wallace]," Walker said. "I had to guard Fesenko."
Despite the height mismatch, Walker isn't averse to lining up against the opposing team's power forward; in fact, he'll tackle whatever the Celtics need him to do.
"I have to be patient; I can do a lot of things," Walker said. "I can guard anybody, that's an asset of mine, from the 4 down to the 2. I have to use that to my advantage. It's not really about competing for minutes now; we're just trying to win a championship. Whatever I can do to help."
As for his health, Walker, who endured three major knee surgeries before making it to the NBA, said, "I feel great, probably the best I've felt in a while."
Asked whether Walker was ahead of schedule, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, "I have no idea, honestly. I think this was the right timing.
"He practiced the last two days and went full, so he was fine. Unfortunately for him, he played the 4 spot, which is not where we want to play him. But right now with [Brian Scalabrine] out, we didn't have another 4 and I didn't want Rasheed out on the floor."
Play Podcast Boston College RB Andre Williams gives his takes on being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, the Eagles' surprising season, his health and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Bruce Bowen weighs in on Doc Rivers' return to Boston, how Kobe Bryant's comeback has impacted the Lakers and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter covers the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, the Bears' win over the Cowboys, Alshon Jeffery's development, Chicago's QB situation and more.
Play Podcast Patriots CB Kyle Arrington talks about recovering the onside kick in the victory over the Browns, his team's comeback wins, New England's reaction to Rob Gronkowski's injury and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer dishes on the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, Tony Romo's style of play, Chip Kelly's coaching, Robert Griffin III's struggles and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck talks about the quality of officiating, Wes Welker's health, Rob Gronkowski's injury, the state of the Redskins and more.