C's look to fix mistakes, earn first win vs. 76ers

C's look to fix mistakes, earn first win vs. 76ers
October 11, 2013, 10:45 am
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The Celtics show Brad Stevens just how much they think of him with a six-year contract worth $22 million.

(AP Photo)

NEWARK, Del. — One of these days, Brad Stevens is going to notch his first win as an NBA head coach.

Really.

But as sweet as that first 'W' may be, Stevens and the rest of the Boston Celtics are more concerned with improving as a team.

"We could lose every game during the preseason," said Celtics forward Gerald Wallace. "We just want to get better as a team and get ready for the regular season."

Boston has shown improvement throughout the preseason, and come into tonight's game against Philadelphia having come back from 23-points down in the fourth quarter to take the lead, only to have it snatched away at the last second by the New York Knicks and Tim Hardaway Jr. whose baseline jumper with eight seconds to play lifted New York to a 103-102 win.

Stevens acknowledged the disappointment in not getting the victory,  but was quick to add that he was pleased with his team's effort and overall fight to get back into the game and give themselves a chance to win.

"The comeback was great because it showed that togetherness (of this team)," Stevens said. "But it also showed the possession by possession mentality."

Boston certainly did a lot of good things to get back into the game. But the Celtics made their share of late-game miscues as well, such as Vitor Faverani's goaltending about midway through the fourth and a defensive breakdown in the final seconds of play that allowed Hardaway Jr. to take a wide open, game-winning shot.

But as Stevens reviews the video from the first two games, most of the Celtics' miscues are correctable.

While there's no guarantee they won't commit the same mistakes again (chances are pretty good they will), there's a sense that those mistakes will become fewer once Stevens gets a better handle on who will be in his rotation.

And that may be just what has to happen for Stevens to achieve the goal of every rookie NBA coach - to get that first win.