Celtics aren't down by low expectations

Celtics aren't down by low expectations
October 19, 2013, 4:45 pm
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WALTHAM -- As head coach it is Brad Stevens' job to lead the Boston Celtics on the court, not through media discussions and fan chatter. That means encouraging his players to block out the noise while they enter a new chapter following a roster overhaul this summer.

The Celtics are no longer title contenders fighting for a championship this season. Rather, they are building toward the future with a different group of players and a first-year NBA coach, all without their All-Star point guard. With that comes more buzz about landing the top draft pick than the top seed in the standings.

"They know what people are saying, I know what people are saying," Stevens said following practice on Saturday. "You can use that as motivation for a week, maybe, but then you've got to just get to be good. You've got to make yourself do the little things to be good."

The Celtics are 1-5 in preseason action, just above the winless Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference. The Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, and Orlando Magic also have one win apiece in the East.

"You can use it (low expectations) as a chip on your shoulders, and I think most of these guys will do that," said Stevens. "We've talked about that in certain circumstances, but that can't be a major part of your every day. It's got to be more about, there are a lot of little things that go into a game that try to help you win, and that's what you focus on."

Stevens points out he understands ranking teams and projecting standings is part of some people's jobs. He went through the same situation coaching college basketball. He knows expectations don't determine the outcome of a game -- action on the floor does.

"(It's) probably better to have a chip on your shoulder than not," he said.