The Celtics head into the 2017-18 campaign as Eastern Conferance Finalist and after the many changes over the last two months, they will look to build on last season's success. No one is more excited for the start of training camp than Brad Stevens.
The Celtics coach made an appearance with Dale and Holley with Keefe during the WEEI - NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on Wednesday afternoon and acknowledged the challenge that awaits him come next month.
“We’re in a unique situation because 60 percent of our team is new coming off of a conference finals appearance,” Stevens said. [WEEI]While the additions of Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes have made the Celtics roster younger, the expectation to be one of the top teams in the East goes without saying.
“It is gonna be a challenge to come together,” admitted Stevens. “I think we’ll be better later than we are earlier, but I can’t wait to get started with this group.” [WEEI]With the NBA regular season set to begin 10-days earlier than usual in an effort to limit back-to-back games and give teams more rest, Stevens knows he will have less time to get his team to gel quickly, especially with all the new faces.
“I’m really anxious to get started,” said Stevens. “And at the same time, we’re really gonna have to hit the ground running when we start on September 26.” [WEEI]When asked about how the signing of Hayward will impact the Celtics this season, Stevens compared the All-Star to Al Horford, another veteran who he belives makes his teammates better.
"[Hayward] has just continuously gotten better," said Stevens. "One thing he's always been able to do is impact winning on both ends. We think regardless of who he's playing next to, regardless of what position you put him at, he's going to be able to have a positive impact.
"It's a lot like when Al [Horford] came last year," Stevens explained. "There will be an adjustment period, there will be time that it takes to get better and better, but all the way through Al helped us win. Then in the playoffs, he played his very best basketball, you hope Gordon can have a similar experience." [WEEI]Boston, who won 53 games and grabbed the No. 1 seed in the East last year, will have their work cut out for them when they tip-off the 2017-18 regular season at Cleveland against the Cavaliers on October 17.
The Celtics will head to the TD Garden to play their home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks the following night.
“It’s the NBA, it’s hard to win a game,” Stevens said. “We play 82. Every one of them is hard as heck to win.” [WEEI]
#Celtics coach Brad Stevens & #RedSox manager John Farrell stopping by the @JimmyFund radio telethon! Call 1-877-738-1234 to help #KCANCER pic.twitter.com/MFU7sWiluG— CausewayStreet (@CausewayStreet) August 16, 2017
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