It was quite the lackluster preseason for the Boston Celtics.
The team finished 1-3 to close out their slate of games and topped it off with a 113-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Even without Kyrie Irving for the finale, there certainly was no shortage of entertainment as J.R. Smith and Marcus Smart were involved in a skirmish during Saturday’s game at Quicken Loans Arena.
While the Celtics are expected to be the cream of the Eastern Conference, the team hasn’t played to its potential during the preseason, and Brad Stevens knows it.
The C’s head coach hasn’t been quiet about how he feels regarding his team’s play. And after Saturday’s loss, Stevens said he has one simple goal going into the Oct. 16 season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers:
?Play better basketball,? Stevens told The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett. ?This week has to be completely focused on team and completely focused on we and that?s what we?re going to get to. There can?t be any other feeling out.
“There?s no more games to feel out,” he added. “So we?ll see if we?re good enough next week or 10 days from now and then it will start. If you?re not good enough, you?re in trouble.”
We’ll see if Boston takes to its coach’s message come Oct. 16. But it certainly will help to have Irving and Gordon Hayward 100 percent healthy as the Green begins its quest for banner No. 18.