Belichick a man of the moment

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Belichick a man of the moment

INDIANAPOLIS -- Did Bill Belichick ever imagine himself standing before a room full of reporters, discussing his hunt for the Super Bowl?

Never for a second," he smiled.

At first it's almost hard to believe. Belichick is one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- coaching minds of this generation. To think he never daydreamed as a child of lifting the Lombardi Trophy, well, it sounds like little more than false modesty.

But consider what you see and hear about Bill Belichick: he's methodical, he's consistent, he lauds discipline. Under those terms, it's not so crazy to think he was always too focused on the present to fantasize about the future.

"Id say, wherever I was, I was consumed," Belichick said Sunday night. "Whether I was working for Ted Marchibroda, breaking down film getting ready for the playoff game with the Steelers in 1975, in Detroit coaching the tight ends for coach (Rick) Forzano and coach (Tommy) Hudspeth in 1976-77, Denver in 1978 getting ready for the playoffs out there, with Pittsburgh in 1979, coming to the Giants with coach (Ray) Perkins, coaching the special teams.

"I loved coaching special teams for Ray Perkins. It was a great job. It was awesome. Then Bill (Parcells) came in, and he was the defensive coordinator in 1981, and I had the opportunity to work with the linebackers and still coach special teams. When Bill took over, I was basically the defensive coordinator as a job description and a title a couple of years later."

Here, we have to hit pause. Belichick's 12 years coaching in New York is a subject of interest this week.

The Giants are the last obstacle between Belichick and his sixth Super Bowl ring. They also wear the name that won him his first two. Belichick reminisced about those years famously in the NFL Films documentary "A Football Life." The coach's candor was eye-opening. One almost felt voyeuristic, especially when -- inconceivably -- Belichick was moved to tears.

He had been retracing old steps through the halls of Giants Stadium.

"I loved that job. I loved coaching the Giants defense. Being in New York, being a part of that great organization and those great players I had the opportunity to coach. In all honesty, I wasnt thinking then about if this was what I was going to do at some other point. We were trying to win there. We won in 1986, and it was a great year. We rebuilt the team, and we won again. I was consumed with that. I really just try to live in the moment, whatever that is."

Makes sense now, doesn't it? Belichick denying the idea he dreamed of Super Bowl titles doesn't signal a lack of ambition; his focus was so total it made him shortsighted.

"Right now, its here, and Im happy to be here, believe me. Theres no place Id rather be. Other points in time, I was dealing with other challenges, other teams and other situations. I tried to do the best I could in those situations with whatever responsibilities I had. I never really thought too much about where it was going to go."

This is the week he obsesses about Lombardi. He'll stalk his quarry with the same pointed focus he had in Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Cleveland and New York. The love he has for those old Giants serves for a swell story, but has nothing to do with this moment -- the here and now.

Another Super Bowl for the Patriots.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics host the Hornets at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

BOSTON -- The last time Boston saw the Charlotte Hornets last month, both teams were streaking in the wrong direction with each coming in having lost three in a row.

Both come into tonight’s game streaking, although in two very different directions.

Boston (25-15) has won 12 of its last 15 games to firmly establish itself as the third-best team in the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Meanwhile the Hornets (20-20) are on the cusp of falling below .500 for the first time this season after losing their last four games.

Still, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen enough of this Hornets team to know that a win tonight won’t come easily.

“This is a good team,” Stevens said. “We all know Charlotte. They don’t beat themselves. We’ve had to play really well against those guys. This is going to be a tough one, as we all know.”

Figuring out why these two teams are trending in opposite directions isn’t all that complicated.

For the Celtics, their success of late has hinged heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s problems have had a lot to do with a tough slate of road games (all four of their recent losses were on the road) and their inability to make shots which has been an issue in some form for them all season regardless of the opponent.

Look at the last four games, all of which the Hornets lost while the Celtics won three of their four games in that span.

The Hornets rank 21st in scoring with a 101.5 points per game average while the Celtics average 110.8 points which ranks 8th in the league.

Charlotte ranks dead-last in the league the last four games when it comes to shooting the ball (40.5 percent), while Boston comes in 18th at 46.0 percent.

But it’s the 3-point shot and its impact on having an effective field goal percentage, that really separates these two.

Boston has averaged a league-best 15.3 made 3-pointers in the last four games while the Hornets and their 9.8 made 3’s ranks 20th.

And as far as its impact on eFG%, Boston comes in with the eighth-best eFG% in the league (54.8 percent) while the Hornets next-to-last in the NBA with an eFG% of .462.

So what does that mean tonight?

Boston will look to continue being fueled offensively by good ball movement and attacking the rim which in turn should result in lots of good looks from 3-point range which is clearly a strength of this team.

Charlotte will search for other sources of offense besides former UConn star Kemba Walker who is on the short list of candidates for a spot on this year’s Eastern Conference all-star roster.

As was the case in Charlotte’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, an off-night shooting for Walker (17 points, 7-for-23 shooting with three assists) left the Hornets extremely vulnerable to defeat. Similar struggles tonight will provide a similar ending for Charlotte which would allow both teams to continue streaking along … something the Celtics wouldn’t mind at all.