The Boston Celtics own the NBA’s best record at 10-1. They are also riding a 10-game winning streak.
But Celtics coach Brad Stevens isn’t concerned with that after the Celtics started their five-game West coast road trip Friday night with a hard-fought 105-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.
“I don’t really care about the record or how many games we’ve won in a row,” said the even-keeled Stevens. “This is a hard stretch coming up and we just have to keep getting better. You can see, we still have a lot of things that we have to clean up especially when were not (healthy). That’s part of it.”
The most glaring issue from their win over the Warriors was the C’s interior defense. Rim protection was definitely a question mark coming into the season due to Boston’s lack of size and Golden State, along with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, attacked the basket to stay within striking distance and give itself a chance at victory.
After allowing 64 points in the paint in the 140-133 win over the Wizards, the numbers would suggest the C’s were better in that regard as they allowed 44 points in the paint to the Warriors.
But the Warriors’ trips to the paint didn’t always result in immediate points as their hard drives had the Celtics backpedaling and committing fouls regularly, especially from Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter, to give Golden State 34 free-throw attempts compared to Boston’s 23.
“They had a lot of guys do things at the rim,” Stevens said. “I didn’t think we were good defensively at the rim, but they put a lot of pressure on us down there. Some of our guys we got to take more charges and we got to be better and more vertical than we are. That was a strength of our team through the first five or six games and we didn’t do a good job of that today. That’s not one big. That’s one through 13 on our roster. Kemba took the one charge, not sure if we had another and we had plenty of opportunities.”
So even with Boston’s stellar play out of the gate, Stevens is trying to keep the C’s grounded with 71 games still remaining.