The Celtics have been playing from behind for most of the preseason. In the first quarter Wednesday night, the Raptors went up 22-9, before the Celtics woke up, and executed Brad Stevens stuff. The Celtics for a second night in a row fell short by two points in each contest. I think you can take both losses as what they are, which means it's just the preseason, or you can look at the losses with the outlook of no Rondo, so no win. The Celtics win both games if Rondo is out there with Jeff, Avery, Sully, and Bass. That's my belief on the two games.
For Brad Stevens, he can't think about Rondo right now, Rondo's out for the first month or so of the season. He needs to get the guys that he has on the floor right now ready for the season, and he realizes it's a 48 minute battle. The Celtics need to come out better prepared, or mentally ready for these games.I think it's more of a getting to know each other thing,compared to it being a Brad Stevens issue, or a players issue.
This was among the messages coach Brad Stevens had for his players in the locker room after the loss, their fifth in six preseason games.
"We have to become a 48-minute team instead of 38-minute team," Stevens said. "We're pretty good for 38 minutes. We have to maintain that focus and level of play through that."
On Wednesday, the Celtics led by two points at the half and were in a back and forth battle through the bulk of the third quarter.
However, Boston found itself on the short end of an 11-0 run to close out the third which put them in an 80-70 hole going into the fourth.
While the losses were certainly disappointing, Celtics forward Jeff Green sees it as just part of this team's growth curve.
As much as the Celtics want to become a team that makes the right plays down the stretch, they must first establish that they are going to compete on a night-in, night-out basis.
Back-to-back losses on the road, each by two points is a start.
"We're going to fight until the end, basically," Green said. "That's what we do. We're going to keep playing until the end of the fourth quarter. We just have to keep at it."
When Green thinks about the loss on Wednesday, the 11-0 run they allowed Toronto to go on that ended the third quarter, sticks out prominently.
"We have to figure out a way to continue to apply pressure on the opposing team," Green said. "We had a good rhythm and we just let up."
Part of that rhythm that Green talks about involves the Celtics being able to play better defensively and with more force in order to close the gap that exists between their current play and them playing to their potential.
"We have to be aggressive," Green said. "We can't allow them to sit back and get the ball in the positions that they want to get them in. We have to continue to be aggressive, but we have to be smart."
I think Brooks showed Stevens something in the 4th quarter, after he scored 15 of his 17 points in the final frame. Crawford has being helping Bradley with point guard duties in the starting unit, and Lee has been inconsistent. As for Brooks, he's shown Stevens that he's a player that he can trust. I don't know if that translates in practice, or when watching film. Brooks has earned his time on the court, and maybe placing him with the starting lineup will help Stevens for his 48 minutes of basketball plan. I don't think Brooks is the solution, but I think shaking up the lineup again will help.
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Photo from Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports) shawn cassidy 10/17/2013 02:28:00 AM Tweet Edit