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The Boston Celtics improved to 6-1 to maintain first place in the Eastern Conference with a 108-87 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.
Of course, the big story was Kemba Walker's return to the city he spent the first eight seasons of his NBA career. Walker received a touching video tribute and a thunderous ovation from the Charlotte crowd before the game.
As for the matchup itself, there was plenty to overreact to. Here are three instant overreactions from the C's win:
1. Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown can coexist after all.
Jaylen Brown made his return to the Celtics lineup after missing three games with an illness, and he was solid. More importantly, Brown's return didn't take away from Gordon Hayward's production as he was great for the second straight night.
Last season, it seemed there were simply too many mouths to feed in the Celtics offense. Brown and Hayward putting up numbers simultaneously was a rare sight. That wasn't the case on Thursday, as Hayward tallied 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists while Brown contributed 12 points and five rebounds of his own in the victory.
Although it's definitely encouraging, we need to wait and see whether it can happen consistently against more formidable opponents than the Hornets.
2. Nerves got to Kemba Walker in his return.
Walker didn't take over the game against his former team like Celtics fans hoped he would. He dropped a modest 14 points while going 4-of-12 from the floor.
This didn't have anything to do with "nerves" or emotions getting the best of him in his first game back at Charlotte. There will be times throughout the season in which Walker can't put up 30 and instead lets his teammates -- in this case, Hayward and Jayson Tatum -- get the job done. In fact, it's refreshing to see Walker be willing to take a back seat while the rest of the lineup thrives.
3. The Celtics' bench needs help.
Verdict: Not an overreaction
The Celtics could really use a consistent scorer off the bench. I mentioned after Tuesday's win over the Cavaliers that Carsen Edwards provided a much-needed spark, but the keyword here is "consistency." Through the first seven games of the season, that's been lacking.
On a positive note, Javonte Green made his presence felt late with 12 points (5-of-9 from the field) in 13 minutes.
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