Celtics

Here's what lies ahead for Kemba Walker if he's placed in NBA's concussion protocol

Here's what lies ahead for Kemba Walker if he's placed in NBA's concussion protocol

BOSTON -- The fact that Kemba Walker was released from the hospital in Denver late Friday night and will return with the team Saturday is certainly good news for the Celtics. 

The three-time All-Star suffered a head injury after colliding with teammate Semi Ojeleye in the second quarter of Boston’s 96-92 loss to the Nuggets. 

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the game that the initial test results were encouraging and being quickly released after undergoing additional tests bodes well for Walker.

However, his initial concussion-like symptoms will likely result in him being placed in the NBA's concussion protocol, which involves a series of tests and evaluations before he can return to action. 

A player in the concussion protocol can’t return to the floor until the following:

  • He is without concussion-related symptoms at rest.
  • He has been evaluated by a physician.
  • He has successfully completed the NBA return-to-participation exertion protocol.
  • A team physician has discussed the return-to-participation process and decision with the director of the NBA concussion program.

Because every player with concussion-like symptoms is different, the decision as to when a player is fit to return will be made by the team physician. 

And that decision will be based on Walker meeting certain benchmarks that give a clear indication that he’s ready to resume playing and be free of concussion-like symptoms.  

From the NBA’s media website, here’s a closer look at the NBA’s return-to-participation protocol:

  • A player diagnosed with a concussion should be regularly monitored by a member of the team’s medical staff for 24 hours for the evolution of symptoms. The player may not begin the return-to-participation exertion process until 24 hours after the time of injury. The initiation of the return-to-participation exertion process is determined by a team physician.
  • The return to participation process involves several steps of increasing exertion – from a stationary bike to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills.
  • Each exertion stage should be monitored by the team’s medical staff. With each step, a focused neurological examination is performed and a player must be symptom-free to move to the next step. If a player is not symptom-free, he stops until he is and begins again at the last step he passed without any symptoms.
  • It's important to note that there is no timeframe to complete the process. Each injury and player is different and recovery time can vary in each case.

While there’s no immediate timetable for when Walker will return, it’s almost a given he’ll miss some time if he winds up in the league’s concussion protocol. The Celtics play again Monday at home against the Sacramento Kings.

Last spring, Gordon Hayward took a blow to the head in a March 16 game against Atlanta and missed three games while being in the league’s concussion protocol. Teammate Jaylen Brown suffered a concussion on March 22, 2018, following a hard fall on his back after a dunk in Minnesota. He was out for six games. 

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Enes Kanter endorses former teammate, Rudy Gobert, for NBA All-Star Game

Enes Kanter endorses former teammate, Rudy Gobert, for NBA All-Star Game

Enes Kanter has been nothing but supportive of his Boston Celtics teammates since joining the squad this summer.

Whether it's been mentoring Tacko Fall or advocating for his young teammates Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to make the All-Star Game, Kanter has had an impact on the C's

And evidently, Kanter's support even extends to former teammates..

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On Saturday night, Kanter took to Twitter to implore NBA coaches to pick Rudy Gobert for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. Kanter and Gobert were teammates for a season and a half together with the Utah Jazz before Kanter was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Gobert's performance against the Dallas Mavericks prompted Kanter's tweet. In the Saturday contest, Gobert totaled 22 points, 17 boards, and five blocks, including a game-winning one at the end of regulation.

Despite his defensive prowess, Gobert has never made an All-Star appearance. He has two Defensive Player of the Year awards and two All-NBA nods, but the All-Star appearance has eluded him.

Given that Gobert is averaging 15.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks per game, and is shooting 68.3 percent from the field, it probably should be his year to make it. We'll see if Kanter's tweet has any influence on the minds of the coaches voting for All-Star reserves.

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How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws vs. Westchester Knicks

How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws vs. Westchester Knicks

The Maine Red Claws came into the Westchester County Center Saturday night looking to extend their win streak to three. No strangers to furious late-game rallies of late, Maine got another such scare just when things were looking comfy. 

The Westchester Knicks seized control in the fourth quarter, using a 14-2 run to take a 97-94 lead with six minutes to go. But that momentum was short-lived. Sparked by a three-pointer from 2019 second-round pick Tremont Waters, the Claws closed the game out on a 16-6 run to give them their 10th win in 11 games.

Here's a look at Waters and 2019 first-round pick Romeo Langford’s best highlights, and their final stat lines.

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TREMONT WATERS

As usual, the rookie from LSU — who grew up in New Haven, just an hour north of the Knicks’ arena in White Plains, N.Y. — was one of Maine’s steadiest. With an effective field goal percentage of 63 and a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, he took command when the Claws needed him most. He finished with 21 points and six rebounds, all of them defensive.

ROMEO LANGFORD

It wasn’t a pretty night for Langford, who started the evening 2 for 10 from the floor and finished 33 percent shooting for 14 points. But despite the lack of stat sheet appeal, he was a team-high plus-14 in 33 minutes.

After Waters, the two most productive nights belonged to Yante Maten and Kaiser Gates. Maten, the former SEC Player of the Year at Georgia, was 8 for 12 from the floor for a team-high 23 points and nine rebounds despite being a team-worst minus-6. Gates was 3 for 8 from three-point range and a plus-10, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds.

The Red Claws are now 8-1 in January, good enough for second in the G League’s Eastern Conference. Optimism continues to bloom with this young but talented roster.

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