"We're just focused on taking it one game at a time." That has to be the oldest cliche in sports. The thing with cliches is that they are often true. Boring but true.
You would excuse the Celtics for looking at the standings and dreaming of a playoff push because that's what all of us are doing. I'm sure they are aware of where they stand but from the sound of it, they aren't really focused on scoreboard watching just yet.
With all the newfound excitement abound, Stevens was asked if he’s hearing the team talking about the playoff race "I don’t know. I haven’t heard them talk about it once," Stevens insisted. "I’m dead serious. I mean, we’ve talked about it, we’ve seen the standings, like you see it but I don’t hear it. I have not hear them say whoever Miami’s playing today, or who’s Charlotte playing today? They haven’t talked about it around me; maybe they are, I don’t know.
That is probably a good thing because if you focus on the GPS for too long instead of paying attention to the road right in front of you, you end up in a ditch explaining to an officer how you got there. The Celtics head out on the road to play the Thunder and Spurs this week. Those are two teams you do NOT want to sleep on.
Here's what we do know: The Celtics are playing inspired basketball, even with their best individual player, Isaiah Thomas, sidelined. Stevens' biggest challenge over the next month will be getting his team to focus on the next game and ignore the outside noise. Which is how they got to this point in the first place.
There's no room for error when 5 or 6 teams are fighting for 2 playoff spots. Any prolonged losing streak could be the end of this fun ride.
"We all understand we were fighting from behind," Zeller said of how much the Celtics have had to improve to reach this point. "But we have two very tough games coming up. You have to be able to put yourself in a position to win. But our team is very good at taking it one game at a time.
Next up, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. One game at a time. One game at a time.