Brad Stevens: Tanking Is ‘Not Our Task; Our Task Is To Play Hard’


Avery Bradley, Josh McRobertsBOSTON — The Celtics dug in and battled for a victory on Friday night, and some of their fans surely came away disappointed.

As the regular season nears its merciful end for the Celtics, a vocal portion of their fan base is rooting for them to lose. More losses mean higher odds in the NBA draft lottery, which means a stronger shot at selecting one of the better players in the upcoming draft.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens understands the logic and knows the fans’ sentiment. He just can’t comply. Sorry.

“You know, I have a job, and my job is to get this team to play as hard and as well together as they possibly can,” Stevens said. “All of us are disappointed in our overall record, and all of us are certainly aware of talk, but that’s not our task. Our task is to play as hard, coach as hard, as we can, and do right by the game. I think that that’s what those guys in the locker room have pretty consistently done. We’ve had a couple of clunkers, but we’ve had a lot of games like this and a lot of them that didn’t go our way, unfortunately.”

Despite some injuries, the Celtics (24-55) fended off a late rush by the Charlotte Bobcats to win 106-103, dropping them one game out of a tie with the Orlando Magic for the third-worst record in the NBA.

Boston has three games remaining in its season, two against lottery-bound Cleveland and Philadelphia before closing out the campaign at home against the Washington Wizards.

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