Boston Celtics rookie Jordan Walsh finally scores his first points
Rookie Jordan Walsh spent the majority of his time deep on the field. Celtics bench or with the Maine Celtics. Recently, however, he has taken up casual gaming during trash time. He played 3 minutes in the Spurs and Heat’s blowout victories, but came away scoreless. As the Celtics pulled away from the extremely short-handed Memphis Grizzlies, the only drama left was to see if Jordan would record his first points. And of course, he delivered on his promises in the most Jordan Walsh way possible.
The guys at CelticsBlog Playback caught it here.
In 14 games at Maine (so far), Walsh is averaging 15.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Notably, he is shooting 36% from 3-point land and has impressed head coach Joe Mazzulla with his developing defense at the NBA level.
“What stands out is his growth as a player and his understanding that the most important thing is defense,” Mazzulla said. “I loved his defensive positioning, his defensive physicality and his instincts. I think it has improved a lot since the start of the year. That’s the challenge for any young player: to really embrace the fact that no matter what you are offensively or how it went in college, you have to play defense. You have to learn defense and he did a great job of that.
Come to think of it, I think it’s fitting that Walsh’s first points came on the night the Celtics honored Marcus Smart, since Jordan’s hustle and toughness have shades of Marcus in them.
“Celtics fans know that basketball costs more than 30 a night. These are agitated plays. It’s about diving on the floor,” Walsh said of Marcus Smart. “In the clips that were on the Jumbotron, most of them showed him diving to the floor and blocking shots. For this to be the culmination of who he was while he was here and the fans love that about him, it says a lot about the tradition and culture of the Celtics.
If he can continue to work on his outside shot, his dynamism, defense and athleticism could put him in a position to contribute in the years to come. But for now, he’ll have to be content to enjoy the view from the bench and, occasionally, contribute a few minutes in case of a burst.
Congratulations to Jordan for this achievement. Here’s to many more in the future.