Tristan Thompson defends Bradley Beal

Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Shares Pregame Checklist

Tuesday, May 18 - Wizards at Celtics

Pregame – Stevens Shares C's Checklist Heading into Play-In Game

Brad Stevens has a checklist of what the Celtics need to do in order to take down the Washington Wizards during tonight’s play-in game. He was kind enough to share items on that list prior to tip-off.

Stevens spoke for less than two minutes, with the majority of that time being dedicated to keys to tonight’s matchup.

“Three things, right, stands out, and this is probably pretty typical of playoff basketball,” he told the media. “You can’t get beat in transition – they’re No. 1 in the league the last 23, 24 games. You can’t over-foul; they’re third in the league in that same stretch. And then you’ve got to clean up the glass, and they’re top-10 in that stretch as well. So I think that those are all enormous focal points.”

Stevens acknowledged that those aren’t the only areas of the game to which the Celtics must dedicate their attention, but he basically said those are the areas that will decide which team will win and which team will lose.

“Obviously you go through what the other team likes to do, you know personnel, you do all of that stuff, but these games inevitably come down to that,” he said, referencing the points he made in his initial comment. “So we’ve got to do a great job of getting back. We’ve got to do a great job of showing our hands when we’re back and not fouling. And then I think that the appropriate technique on shot challenges is important to keep them off the foul line.”

Easier said than done against a Washington team that has surged into the play-in game after opening the season with a 17-32 record. The Wizards finished the season by winning 17 of their final 23 games by playing fast, by drawing fouls, and by rebounding at a high level.

Boston certainly has its hands full against Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook and the Wizards. But at least the Celtics have a very clear and concise checklist heading into this game of what they need to do in order to win.

- Marc D'Amico

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