Only a fraction of the 2010 Boston Celtics team that fell one win shy of an NBA championship is on the Cs playoff roster this postseason. The faces may be different this time around, but the new players have bought in to the Celtics playoff mentality. Jeff Green Nenad Krstic, Sasha Pavlovic, and Von Wafer talked to CSNNE.com about how the Celtics approach to the playoffs compares to their previous postseason experiences.
Last postseason Nenad Krstic played alongside the leagues leading scorer, Kevin Durant, on the Oklahoma City Thunder. This season, he is adjusting to a Celtics team whose title hunt is rooted in defense.
Here it is more detailed. Were learning their (the opponents) plays and were repeating through the practice the small details. Im not saying the Thunder arent doing the same thing, but when I was on the team we were more focusing offensively -- what can we do to score? Defensively we were doing some stuff, but not like detailed work here.
Von Wafer was tossed from the Houston Rockets bench by head coach Rick Adelman for complaining about playing time during the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Two years later, he has a new outlook on the Celtics, even when he isnt on the court.
Oh the Celtics approach is different, a lot more focus. These guys arent playing around, so youve just got to be on your Ps and Qs. Its a different type of focus. They just turn it up a notch. Everybody turns it up. It helps me a lot because Ive got to be even more focused than those guys and stay on my Ps and Qs.
Sasha Pavlovic made four consecutive postseason appearances with the Cleveland Cavaliers, including a seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Celtics during the Cs 2008 title run. After a few months in Boston this season, he has an idea of what those Cavs clubs were missing.
The approach is pretty much the same but the guys are different. When I played in the playoffs with the Cavs, we had a younger team and a lot of guys that had never been in the playoffs before. Here, thats the only difference because we have a lot of guys who have been there before and we have more experience than we did with the Cavs. I think it helps a lot because if we had a couple of guys like that in Cleveland when we played, we would have been a lot better.
Last season Green was part of a young Oklahoma City Thunder squad that turned heads by pushing the Los Angeles Lakers to six games in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. He looks to continue that fighting mentality in his playoff run with the Celtics.
The Celtics approach is a little bit more intense, but the ultimate goal is always the same. Do your studying on the team and do your best when you go out there.