Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum all have played five seasons or less in the NBA, but they've still got as much playoff experience as many veterans around the league.
The Celtics have reached the playoffs in five consecutive seasons, and that streak started in Smart's rookie campaign. Boston has made at least the Eastern Conference semifinals in three straight years, including a pair of conference final appearances in 2017 and 2018.
Kemba Walker joined the Celtics as a free agent earlier this month, and one of the reasons he was drawn to the franchise was its winning culture. The star point guard enjoyed a lot of personal success in eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, including three All-Star appearances and an all-NBA third team nod, but he played in only two playoff series (11 games total) over that span.
One of Walker's most impressive traits is his willingness to learn about the game, and he's not shy about asking for help. Celtics reporter Marc D'Amico provided further evidence of this trait with the following story about Walker's mission to prepare for the playoffs.
Kemba told me today that he’ll be asking guys like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum what it takes to be successful in the postseason. He’s humble. He acknowledges they’ve been there, and he hasn’t. He wants to learn.— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) July 17, 2019
Winning clearly was a priority for Walker in free agency, and he ultimately picked the right place. No franchise has a better tradition of postseason success than the Celtics, and winning in Boston would allow Walker to establish himself as an upper-echelon NBA star.
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