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WALTHAM, Mass. – Worried about where the Celtics stand from a team perspective heading into Wednesday night’s season opener?
Don’t be, says Brad Stevens.
“The one thing that I feel pretty good about is this team is a group that’s connected and it seems to be authentic,” Stevens said before Tuesday afternoon’s practice. “It doesn’t seem to be rehearsed or just something that’s scripted.”
In other words, these guys are getting along, and it’s genuine.
We all know that they’re on the same page on the court. Such is clear after watching the Celtics rattle off six wins in seven chances during the preseason.
But what keeps a team glued together throughout a lengthy regular season is what happens off the court. It’s all about chemistry, trust and belief.
It’s still very early, but this Boston squad appears to check off each of those characteristics in resounding fashion.
Chemistry began to take form early on. Many of the Celtics were working out together in Boston throughout the month of September leading up to their first official day together on Sept. 25. Just a few days after Media Day, they took off on a chartered flight for a weeklong trip to Milan and Madrid, which has benefited the team greatly according to David Lee.
“I think the chemistry aspect is great right now,” Lee said. “I think that European trip really helped out.”
That trip helped the 15 Celtics forge a brotherly bond. That bond leads to trust, and trust breeds successful basketball.
A point guard must trust that his teammates will make the open shots that he creates for them. A big man must trust that his guard will fight through a screen and recover to his man. So on and so on.
We’re only a month into this thing, yet trust is already shared throughout this entire roster.
“I think we’re all on the same page,” Evan Turner confidently stated. “We’re all devoted to the mission of getting better and climbing that ladder.
“We know we have a lot more work to do in order to be better and play to our standards, whether it be transition defense and along those lines. I think we’ll get there.”
Turner, like the rest of his teammates, is confident. He believes that the Celtics will be successful, because they work hard for it every single day.
Will these Celtics be perfect this season? No. Not a chance. Games will be lost, and feelings will be hurt, but Stevens believes his team will come together and battle through any turbulence they may experience over the next six-plus months.
“Listen, we’re all going to have bad days,” he said candidly. “And there’s going to be moments in time where somebody may be disappointed in their role, maybe they didn’t play as much, whatever the case may be, but I don’t think with this team that will fester.”
It shouldn’t, because there are no questions about where these Celtics stand from a team perspective. They’re authentic.
Chemistry, trust and belief? They have them all heading into Opening Night.