Oh I'm sure some fans enjoyed the fact that Rondo took the night off. It didn't work out for those wanting the Celtics to lose. Phil Pressey came in and set the tone, dishing out 13 assists, and scoring 10 points as Boston's starting point guard. Maybe next time Bill Simmons. The Celtics haven't shown any signs of tanking, and the win over the Bobcats is prof of that. Stevens made a statement to reporters following the Celtics snapping their 9 game losing streak.
"I have a job, and my job is to get this team to play as hard and as well together as they possibly can," Stevens said when asked what he'd tell those fans. "And to execute and to hopefully be on the right side of the scoreboard at the end of the day. ... All of us are disappointed in our overall record, and all of us are certainly aware of [the lottery] talk, but that’s not our task. Our task is to play hard, coach hard, and do right by the game. And I think that that’s what those guys in the locker room have done pretty consistently. We’ve had a couple of clunkers, but we’ve had a lot of games like this and a lot of them that didn’t go our way, unfortunately."
"We’ve had a lot of close games not go our way and tonight one goes our way," said Stevens. "Can you turn some of those [close losses] around with extra opportunities and extra experiences like this down the road? I’m of the belief that everything matters, and I’m also of the belief that those guys have invested a lot and they came out and really competed pretty well through the course of the year. They deserve to celebrate in the locker room and be excited in the locker room, especially after the string of losses we had."
The trend this entire season has been Boston's late game breakdowns. The Celtics have now played in 48 games, in which they were within five points in the final minutes. Flip the outcome on many of those games, and Boston would be in the playoffs. Brad Stevens has had these guys playing hard all season, and that's great for the 2014-15 season. This roster could look different, but I still believe that Boston will be a better team no matter of the "Fireworks" that are ahead for this team.