Rob Williams grabs a rebound against Washington

Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Says C's Must "Difficult Things"

Sunday, February 28 - Wizards at Celtics

Pregame – Celtics Must "Accomplish Some Difficult Things"

Sometimes what you do is less important than how you do it. Brad Stevens touched on that notion prior to Sunday night’s game against the Washington Wizards.

While speaking about his team’s outlook as it approaches the midway point of its season, Stevens made a comment that should resonate with Boston’s fan base: “We need to accomplish some difficult things. We need to do some difficult things.”

In other words, the Celtics need to do more than just win games; they need to win games in difficult fashion.

Boston has failed in that aspect more times than not this season. Stevens referenced last Sunday’s overtime defeat to New Orleans as one such instance. The C’s led by as many as 24 points during the fourth quarter but allowed New Orleans to force overtime and they couldn’t grab the win. Had Boston figured out a way to hold the Pels off, even for a one-point win, it certainly would have been a notch in the “difficult things” category Stevens mentioned.

While the C’s have struggled in that category this season, they have another opportunity tonight against the upstart Washington Wizards.

Boston is set to take on a Wizards team that has won seven of its last eight games, including five victories over teams which are currently slated to make the Playoffs. Its only defeat during that span came at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, who own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Stevens was very clear that slowing the Wizards down enough to win this game tonight will be a significant challenge.

“They put guys in position to soar with their strengths on offense,” he said. “They’ve got a number of shooters and a number of playmakers around (Bradley) Beal and (Russell) Westbrook. And then defensively, they’ve really improved.”

Stevens also alluded to the fact that Washington, led by head coach Scott Brooks, managed to hold itself together amid an ugly 6-17 start to the season before hitting its stride during this recent stretch.

“I think Scott has done a good job of keeping them in a great frame of mind up until they’ve gone on this kind of run to kinda help them do that,” Stevens said.

Ironically, that’s exactly what Stevens is trying to do right now with the Celtics.

Boston is 8-14 over its last 22 games. It did, however, grab a win Friday night despite Indiana’s attempt to stage a comeback. Logging another difficult win tonight could go a long way toward getting the C’s back on track for the long haul. As Washington has shown, accomplishing difficult things can turn a team around in a hurry.

- Marc D'Amico

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