West Coast Trip Not So Daunting To C's

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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BOSTON – A daunting West Coast trip that will span the length of 11 days looms ahead of the Boston Celtics. Yet to them, it doesn’t seem so daunting.

Boston’s players and coaches fully understand what lies ahead of them. They aren’t naive.

They know that they will be away from their homes and families for nearly two weeks. They know that they will take on three playoff teams, including two that are considered to be title contenders and one that may be the best team in NBA history. They know that they will travel some 7,000 miles before they slide their keys into their front doors once more.

However, they choose not to view this challenge as a whole. Instead, they see five individual obstacles.

“I don’t really look at it as the next chunk of the schedule,” Brad Stevens said Wednesday night, shortly after Boston took down the East’s No. 2 seed, the Toronto Raptors. “I just look at it as now we go to Phoenix and play a game.”

Phoenix, as Stevens alluded, is destination No. 1 on Boston’s upcoming trip. The Celtics will tip off against the Suns at 10 p.m. Saturday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The Celtics have had an eye on that game in Phoenix for some time now, although they have dedicated nearly all of their attention to their last three opponents. This team wanted to take the court for Saturday’s game with its confidence riding high.

“We told each other we needed to get these three wins in a row to build momentum to go out against Phoenix and take care of the same thing,” said Avery Bradley.

Notice how Bradley didn’t mention taking momentum into Los Angeles for Monday’s tilt with the Clippers. Or riding a wave into Portland for next Thursday’s matchup with the Trail Blazers. And he most certainly didn’t look ahead to Boston’s showdown with the defending-champion Golden State Warriors on April 1.

No, he mentioned the Suns, the next challenge in Boston’s 82-game season. The time will come to worry about those other opponents, but for now, it’s one game at a time.

For now, it’s next stop: Phoenix.