The Boston Celtics have not lost since back when pumpkin-flavored foods were still a thing, and their 14-game winning streak is the talk of the NBA. But to hear Coach Brad Stevens say it, the Celtics are sorriest bunch of losers in the NBA.
“We haven’t played well enough to consider this win streak to be valid in my opinion,” Stevens said during his team’s shootaround in Atlanta ahead of Saturday night’s game against the Hawks. “We’ve figured out ways to win games. We gotta play a lot better.”
“We’ve got to be better, and we know that,” Stevens said. “We can’t get so caught up in the results of all these games and ride that emotion. We’ve been fortunate to win a lot of the games in this streak, including Thursday night. If we dig ourselves a 17-point hole every other game, it’s not going to be as much fun as we’ve had recently.”
Stevens might actually have a point on that last part. The Celtics trailed the Warriors by 17 on two separate occasions Thursday night before storming back to win. Two days earlier, they trailed the last-place Nets by six in the second quarter even after jumping out to a 17-4 lead to start the game. Last Sunday, they were playing catch-up to the Raptors for long stretches of the game. Boston also came back from 18-point deficits against both Oklahoma City and Charlotte earlier this month. At some point, the Celtics are going to go down big and not come back.
Boston’s defense is giving up just 95.4 points per 100 possessions, by far the lowest mark in the NBA, but the Celtics are scoring only 102.6 points per 100 possessions themselves, which ranks 23rd out of 30 teams.
“I thought that we played really hard on Thursday, and we really battled defensively and all that stuff, but if we play offense at the same level that we did Thursday night, we’ll get beat [in Atlanta],” Stevens said.
“We got a lot to improve on,” he added. “We have an hour-long shoot around and probably we don’t have enough time to talk about it.”
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