Pregame Post-Ups: C’s Look to Measure Up vs. Cavs

Wednesday, March 1 - Cavaliers at Celtics

Pregame – C’s Look to Measure Up vs. Cavs

BOSTON – Brad Stevens does not value any regular season game more than the next. The Celtics coach is as even-keeled as they come in terms of taking a game-by-game approach to the hectic NBA schedule.

That being said, Stevens recognizes when the team needs to magnify its level of play in order to have a chance to win.

Wednesday night will be one of those nights when Boston takes on the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden.

“Anytime you get a chance to play at this level against any of the 30 teams, you better be good if you want to win,” said Stevens ahead of the 8 p.m. tip-off. “Obviously that’s heightened when you’re playing against a team of this caliber and what they’ve already accomplished throughout this regular season.”

At this moment, the Celtics sit just four games behind Cleveland in the Eastern Conference standings. While that appears to be a narrow gap, Stevens says the C’s still have a long way to go before they can be mentioned in the same breath as the Cavs.

“I don’t think I’m saying anything earth shattering here: We’re all chasing Cleveland,” said Stevens. “At the end of the day we better get a lot better to be in that conversation, and so the way that we do that is we get to work on every little thing that we can control and try to play as purposeful a game every possession as possible.”

The Cavaliers have set the bar high as far as elite teams go, but tonight’s contest will be no piece of cake for them either.

“It’s very important to try to come in and play against a great team – a well-coached team – and see where we’re at,” said Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue. “They’re the number 2 seed and tonight’s a big game for us.”

In other words, tonight’s game will be a measuring stick for both teams. It will allow the Celtics to see where they stack up against the defending champs, and it will give the Cavs a chance to see how far Boston has progressed and how much of a threat it can be in the East.

- Taylor C. Snow