Celtics Impressing Stevens with Resilience

DALLAS – With a gauntlet of a November schedule looming ahead, Brad Stevens consistently delivered a message to the Boston Celtics throughout October: Never get too high, and never get too low.

We’re only two games into the NBA season, but the Celtics have already found the need to put their coach’s advice to use.

Boston picked the Nets apart on Opening Night but was then trounced by the Rockets three days later in Houston. The team’s response to each contest has been to move on to the next task at hand, causing Stevens to believe that the Celtics are equipped to handle the NBA’s roller coaster season.

“I feel like this group, for whatever reason, is really resilient,” Stevens said following Sunday’s practice. “We came right back to work. We had a long film session that was probably pretty boring, but it was necessary, and then we came out and went to work … We had a really good practice today.”

Signs have been pointing in this direction since about 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, when the final buzzer sounded on Boston’s 104-90 loss to the Rockets.

Stevens addressed the team following the loss, telling them to learn from the experience and to stay together. That’s where the players’ minds have been ever since.

“I think tomorrow we discuss it and see what we did wrong and then after that leave it alone,” Evan Turner said after Saturday’s loss. “If you worry too much about the past in this league, you’ll wake up to some pretty bad games.”

Avery Bradley echoed those sentiments while preaching Stevens’ words.

“One thing coach always tells us is to fight through adversity,” Bradley said. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t get off to a good start (Saturday night). I feel we can all take something from a game like tonight.”

And that they did.

The Celtics used their lengthy film session and hour-long practice to work on their deficiencies from Saturday’s game. Their greatest issue, as Stevens and multiple players mentioned, was a tendency to pass on open looks. That’s the opposite of what Stevens wants from his offense.

“You have to be aggressive. You have to be assertive,” the coach said on Sunday. “It’s not a malicious selfishness by any means, but it’s a requirement for everybody. We’re expecting everybody to soar with their strengths and we’re expecting everybody to take what’s there.”

That didn’t happen Saturday night, causing Boston to suffer its first loss of the season. Fortunately, the defeat hasn’t lingered.

The Celtics have learned their lesson and moved on to the next task at hand. That’s what mattered to them, and such a fact stands out to their coach.

“The best teams I’ve ever been a part of, it didn’t matter what happened yesterday,” said Stevens. “They just come and go back to work.”


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