BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics blew out the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 on Sunday, something not many teams have been able to do to the defending champs. But even after watching his team jump out to giant leads before ultimately taking the contest 112-94, Boston head coach Brad Stevens still found some nits to pick after the game.
That continued on Monday, though Stevens took aim at someone else: The scorekeeper in Game 1. While the box score may say that the Celtics held Toronto’s normally lethal fast-break to just seven points, Stevens tallied a lot more transition points during his film session.
“It was a tough day for the person keeping the box score. I had them for a lot more than seven — we had them down for over 30 transition points,” Stevens said Monday afternoon. “We have to do a lot better than we did [in Game 1]. They do a great job with those run-out points but also getting fouled in transition.”
The discrepancy likely comes from NBA scorekeepers crediting teams with fast-break points if a bucket happens within six seconds of a change in possession. Stevens probably gave the Raptors a few more seconds in his tally, which helps his argument when the coach tells his team they aren’t as good as the final score showed on Sunday.
Overall, the Celtics were pretty darn good defensively throughout Sunday’s victory. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet were both non-factors for the Raptors, combining for 23 points on 8-for-32 shooting. Boston’s constant switches on defense kept either of them from getting comfortable in Game 1.
Stevens still had a laundry list of complaints about the Boston defense on Monday.
“A couple times we lost shooters, we didn’t match the big trailing the play. You just go down the list,” critiqued Stevens. “That’s how they do a great job scoring. I thought our effort off our turnovers and not-so-great offensive possessions was really good. We played really hard that way with a conscience effort to get back. But you have to do that on every occasion against this team.”
Also from Stevens’ media session on Monday:
On Kemba Walker’s knee: “I think he got rolled up on in front of our bench by the basket. He felt it, but he didn’t have any restrictions and went through our 12 minute practice today. Should be good to go tomorrow.”
An update on Gordon Hayward: “Rehab seems to be going OK. He feels a little bit better. Still has a pretty significant amount of – I don’t think his gait is perfect. Once that’s feeling good he’s probably on a quicker course to coming back. I think he’ll rejoin us in the bubble sometime soon, but he’ll still be some time away.”
On A Long Season For Rookies: “We’ve joked with a lot of our rookies that they’ve been rookies for over a year since they got to Boston to start working out. That sucks for them. I guess they’ll become second year players eventually.”