Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Shares Thoughts on Upcoming Postseason
Sunday, May 16 - Celtics at Knicks
Pregame – Stevens Shares General Thoughts on Upcoming Postseason
There’s been a tremendous amount of streakiness and inconsistent play this season, not just from the Boston Celtics, but throughout the majority of the NBA, as teams across the league have grappled an abundance of health issues along with a super-condensed schedule. However, C’s coach Brad Stevens believes “there is no doubt about it” that the overall intensity will increase, and thus normalize, among playoff-bound teams once the postseason begins next week.
“It's been a challenging year, but I think that a lot of guys will be available and will be playing,” Stevens said ahead of Sunday’s season finale against the New York Knicks. “And I think that there will be, as always, high-level competition.”
Such high-level competition will begin during the play-in games, in which the Celtics will take part Tuesday when playing against either the Charlotte Hornets or the Washington Wizards.
“The play-in games are going to be exciting for fans and it puts an added weight and added importance on that week,” said Stevens. “And then once you get into the playoffs and teams dial into each other and prepare for each other, you see everybody's level rise.”
The one big difference that Stevens expects is less scoring, as teams have been scoring off the chart lately. But defenses should be more locked in now with their respective seasons on the line, so there likely won’t be as many offensive explosions.
“It may not be as aesthetically pleasing as some of these offensive outbursts have been all year, because I think people will dial it in defensively, and we'll have more time in between games and more chances to really dive into the opponent,” Stevens said. “So I think that that's probably what you'll see. But we're coming off of a playoffs that, when we were in the bubble, I thought it was the highest level I'd ever seen this as far as intensity, effort, teams, again, playing at just a ridiculous level. And I just think the playoffs brings that out of people every year. And so, I anticipate the playoffs will be great."
- Taylor Snow