Stevens pleased with Celtics selflessness

Stevens pleased with Celtics selflessness
October 9, 2013, 12:00 pm
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BOSTON — When training camp opened, no one -- including players and coaches -- had an idea of how the Celtics would play together.

Considering all the changes, it would not come as a shock to anyone if the Celtics became a selfish, gotta-get-mine kind of team this season. But among the silver linings the C's took from their 97-89 preseason loss to Toronto on Monday, was a team that played a surprisingly selfless brand of basketball.

The C's will look to continue along those lines tonight when they face the New York Knicks in Providence.

A key to the Celtics getting their first win of the Brad Stevens era will be to build off of what was a good game in terms of ball movement. Boston only made 33 field goals in the loss to the Raptors, but 25 of those made baskets came on assists. And the team's assist leader was Kelly Olynyk, a 7-foot rookie out of Gonzaga.

"Unselfishness is a strength of this group," said C's head coach Brad Stevens. "I like how we played from that standpoint."

Celtics guard Keith Bogans is entering his 11th NBA season and admits the unselfish play he has seen thus far with his new team is unusual.

"That's what makes this team special," Bogans told "Of course we all want to play, but everybody is doing what they can do to help the team win. We all have to do our jobs, but at the end of the day, it has to be about the team."

Of course the man who sets the C's offense in motion, for now at least, is Avery Bradley. The 6-foot-2 guard understands all too well the ginormous shoes he has to fill in trying to replace Rajon Rondo who remains out indefinitely while recovering from a torn right ACL injury.

"My confidence is high right now because of my coach and my teammates," Bradley said. "I'm just going to continue to go out and play as hard as I can and let the game come to me."

But in doing so, Bradley is still working towards getting a feel for how he must play at the point guard position, in order to best help the C's.

"I'm trying to feel my way through, but at the same time, I'm not Rondo," Bradley said. "He's one of a kind, an amazing point guard. My main focus is to try and go out there and play as hard as I can."

Effort and execution will have to be hallmarks for this team to surprise the masses and put together a playoff-contending season.

"That's the goal, getting to the playoffs," said Boston big man Kris Humphries. "We have the talent. It's just a matter of us putting it all together, getting on the same page offensively and defensively."