|Posted by shawn cassidy on December 6, 2013 at 1:35 AM|
The Celtics were pegged to finish next to last right there with Philly, but 20 games into the 2013-14 season the Celtics hold the Atlantic lead. The Celtics don't lead by much, and frankly they're near last place with an 8-12 record. The Celtics have work to do and must continue this style of play if they want to keep winning games. Stevens isn't relaxed or content with the Celtics lead in the Atlantic.
The Celtics coach is more concerned with the team’s record, which remains four games under .500 at 8-12. I'm sure Brad wants to get above .500 basketball first before he cracks a smile about this Celtics squad that's working to get better as a young team in a new system.
The Celtics entered Thursday with a ½ -game lead in the East and would be the fourth seed if the playoffs started today.
Later, when a question came noting how the Celtics had "kept their heads above water" during a crazy November schedule, Stevens paused for a moment before noting, "Everybody is really optimistic. This head above water thing -- we’re 8-12."
Don't misconstrue, Stevens likes the direction his team is headed in. He's simply not ready to celebrate having a .400 winning percentage, regardless of what it gets you in a ramshackled Eastern Conference.
"We have to be careful how we gauge improvement," said Stevens. "I think we made a lot of strides during that six-game losing streak. Because I thought it revealed some things we could work on, it revealed some things that we could potentially address should we come back around to a tough stretch again. There’s just a lot that that we can build off. I think the biggest thing is, I said it earlier, is that mindset, that attitude of being accountable and doing your job. And just growing everyday. Just really embracing that and not concerning ourselves with the record or where we stand."
The Celtics are playing some fine basketball without Rondo, and after the six game skid that looked to be the end of the Celtics as a possible playoff team. After the skid the Celtics have won four of their last six games and they've played some of their most consistent basketball. The Celtics started off with a decent 4-4 record, and in the four losses the Celtics had chances to win those games.
I love Brad's response to the recent success. He doesn't want this team to relax and to feel as if they' have figured it out. They haven't figured it out and he wants them to continue to grind through practice to get better and in games to improve on the bigger scale. Brad's a modest man and his reaction to the top spot in the Atlantic doesn't surprise me.