Brad Stevens isn’t taking anything for granted.
Life seemingly got easier for the Boston Celtics recently when LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency. After all, James has been a thorn in Boston’s side, with the Cavs eliminating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals in back-to-back seasons.
But Stevens insisted Monday during the Celtics’ Summer League game against the Charlotte Hornets that the East won’t be a cakewalk even with James taking his talents to the Western Conference. Plenty of obstacles remain, and the Celtics coach understands his team can’t afford to slack off.
The Celtics are the favorites to reach the NBA Finals from the Eastern Conference, as they’ll be adding a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to a team that came within one win of knocking off James and the Cavs this past season. Just don’t expect their egos to reflect those heightened expectations.
Stevens, a steady presence since becoming Boston’s head coach, simply won’t allow it.
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