BOSTON — Like every other professional sports league that's had its season put on standby because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA has been spitballing ideas of what its season would look like if and when play resumes.
There has been some talk about a 16-team, win-or-go-home format, something that would certainly get a number of players to get behind it ... including Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker.
For Walker and the Celtics, such a format would be an ideal way to go for a number of reasons.
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First and foremost, such a format minimizes the importance of having a deep, statistically impactful bench — which the Celtics don’t have.
It also tends to play into the strengths of Boston’s head coach Brad Stevens as well as Walker.
A big part of Stevens being the Celtics head coach stems from the success he had in the NCAA Tournament at Butler University, a mid-major school Stevens led to a pair of NCAA championship runner-up finishes.
One of those oh-so-close championship losses came in 2011 at the hands of UConn, as Walker's strong tournament run propelled the Huskies to the school’s third NCAA championship.
So it’s no surprise Walker would not have an issue if the league decided to ditch its current format and went with one that more closely resembled what we see during the NCAA Tournament.
“I guess I wouldn’t mind it,” Walker told NBC Sports Boston. “I love to hoop. At this point it doesn’t really matter because of the way things went and suddenly the season just got postponed.”
The Celtics were in Milwaukee on March 11, preparing to play the Bucks the following night when word spread that Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the league postponing the remainder of this season almost immediately afterwards.
As far as an NCAA Tournament-style postseason for the NBA, Walker added, “It would be fun. It would be different.”
Especially if it ended with Banner No. 18 for the Celtics.