Stevens after home opener: 'I want losing to hurt'

Stevens after home opener: 'I want losing to hurt'
November 1, 2013, 11:45 pm
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BOSTON — The fact that the Celtics have lost their first two games of the season doesn't come as a shock.

Still, blowing a 22-point lead in the second half at home to an undermanned Milwaukee team, that's another story.

The season is still young, so you won't find anyone panicking just yet.

However, it was clear that the 105-98 loss stung in a deeper, more meaningful way that even the most optimistic of Celtics players and fans, had to acknowledge.

"I want losing to hurt," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "Losing should hurt. But ... I don't want it to be something that lingers. I think you lose, you learn from it, you move on."

Like most things, that's easier said than done.

There's a laundry list of problems that plagued Boston in the second half of on Friday.

Gerald Wallace said Boston's problems came down to one thing.

"We got selfish," Wallace said. "Instead of worrying about winning the ball game we were more worried about our stats and getting points. It showed."

He didn't point to any one or two players in particular. And looking at the final box score, there wasn't a blatantly obvious candidate that fit the description.

Of the so-called "selfish" players, Wallace could have easily been talking about himself or the team in the second half as they consistently kept the ball on one side of the floor.

Wallace had 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, but he made his share of mistakes as well. He turned the ball over four times, included getting stripped by Caron Butler after keeping his dribble too long, with less than a minute to play. The result was a pair of free throws for Milwaukee that extended the Bucks lead to 101-98.

Regardless of who Wallace was speaking about, chatter about "selfish" play so early in the season is not a good sign for team unity which above all else, has to remain intact if the Celtics are to have a legit shot of weathering what's shaping up to be a stormy season.

"I really don't understand it," Wallace said. "I'm trying to figure out what's more important, winning or padding your stats? This was a game we were supposed to win easily, without even the starters playing in the fourth quarter. Instead, we got selfish as a team. We didn't move the ball, we let the ball stick instead of pushing the ball, and their second unit came in and they handled us, and we didn't really know what to do."

The only thing the Celtics can do at this point is try to learn from their mistakes on Friday, and hope not to repeat them Sunday in Detroit.

"Nobody likes to lose," said Boston forward/center Jared Sullinger, who had 10 points and three rebounds in his season debut on Friday. "The type of players that we have on this team, we're all used to winning. So we're going to come back and get back to the drawing board and hopefully come back on Sunday and win the game."