BOSTON (CBS) — Brad Stevens hates to lose, so it’s easy to understand why he was very frustrated with his Boston Celtics after a disappointing home loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
The Hornets were without two of their better players in Al Jefferson and Lance Stephenson, but still got the best of a lifeless Celtics team. Stevens wasn’t happy, and took the blame following the game.READ MORE: Runner Who Suffered Heart Attack During Boston Marathon Hopes To Come Back Stronger
In doing so, he sent his players a message, which they heard loud and clear. They responded Wednesday night with a solid win over the Nets in Brooklyn.
Stevens joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak on Friday, and was very pleased with his team’s response to his harsh words earlier in the week.
“I don’t like to lose, and obviously we had some loses there that were frustrating. The beautiful part of the NBA is there is always tomorrow,” he said. “I thought Wednesday we played as gritty and as physical a game in the year and a half I’ve been here. We missed a lot of shots, a lot of shot at the rim, but everything we did was as a group playing together as hard as they could on every single possession. I was really encouraged by our response to Monday, and take a little bit of comfort from the fact that Charlotte is having a great week and Kemba Walker is having a great week.
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“That was a disappointing game we played on Monday and we did respond well. Now let’s see if we can continue to respond,” Stevens added.
Stevens took a lot of the blame for Monday night, as he has done with other losses in the past,READ MORE: Record Fall Warmth: An Unprecedented Autumn In New England
“When a team plays like that it’s on the coach, to me. One of the things about coaches, generally, is we’ve never gone through a game or a loss where you don’t question your every move,” he said. “Knowing full well that the game can’t be played perfectly, but knowing your that job as a coach is to get it as close as possible. We were so far from productive on Monday; we weren’t playing at the right intensity level and we weren’t executing right. Those two things combined created a 23-point deficit in the fourth quarter that was too much to overcome.
“We needed to change the approach a little bit, and I felt good the way we took on Tuesday and Wednesday,” he said. “It would have been really concerning if we hadn’t responded.”
In addition to some frustrating losses, Stevens has also had to deal with numerous trade rumors in his brief time with the Celtics. It seemed like a new Rajon Rondo trade rumor surfaced every day until the point guard was traded three weeks ago, and now forward Jeff Green and newly acquired center Brandan Wright are popping up in trade chatter.
Stevens said it’s best to just block those out and focus on the task at hand.
“You do your best to avoid and, not ignore speculation because you do have to recognize that people are talking and that might affect your team, but really focus on getting ready for tonight and being the best we can be,” he said.
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