Mental toughness key down stretch for Celtics

Mental toughness key down stretch for Celtics
April 12, 2012, 2:33 pm
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BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics travel itinerary has been dizzying.

In one week they have traveled from Boston, following a loss to the San Antonio Spurs last Wednesday, to Chicago (Thursdays loss to Bulls), Chicago to Indiana (Saturdays win against the Pacers), Indiana to Boston (Sundays win against the Philadelphia 76ers), Boston to Miami (Tuesdays win over the Heat), and Miami back to Boston for Wednesdays overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks.

After dropping two straight last week, they have won four games in five days against playoff contending teams. Aside from the physical aspect of logging an extensive numbers of minutes and miles, the Celtics also face a mental challenge to stay focused during this stretch.

Following their grind-it-out 88-86 win over the Hawks, in which there were 13 lead changes and 11 ties, Kevin Garnett (22 points, 12 rebounds) praised his teams mental toughness.

I think our concern tonight was more mental fatigue, Garnett said. Then again, you think about your summer workouts and these are the things that the workouts like that help you for moments like this -- for when you see doubt is right in front of you and you go through it.

Its good that we were able to mentally stay strong and fight the fatigue and come through and execute and make plays when we had to.

The schedule doesnt get any easier for the Celtics. On Thursday they will leave for a back-to-back-to-back road trip, playing the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, and Charlotte Bobcats over the weekend. Then it's off to New York, where they will play the Knicks next Tuesday before taking on the Orlando Magic in Boston the following night.

I think itll be fun, said Avery Bradley (7 points, 4 rebounds). We love the game of basketball. We are ready, getting ourselves mentally prepared. We are going into every game as hard as we can.