CANTON, Mass. — The Boston Celtics enter the 2019-20 campaign with a clean slate, but with every new team, comes new deficiencies.
The departures of Al Horford and Aron Baynes certainly hinder Boston’s defensive upside. Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier come in as reinforcements, but the two newcomers do not provide nearly as much on defense as the former. So where does Brad Stevens start in terms of adjustments?
In the least surprising turn of media day, the Celtics head coach kept it very simple.
“Well, if you want to win at the highest level in this league,” Stevens said, “you better be one of the best defensive teams and you better be one of the best offensive teams. At the end of the day, there’s two sides of the ball. You better play well and you better do it consistently.”
Stevens-led teams generally run on a defensive-centric mindset, but there’s a good chance this team is better on the other side of the ball. It’ll be a bit different from the norm, but the head coach isn’t thinking too much into that particular narrative.
“We’ve been lucky, because over the last five years or so we’ve been one of the better ones on defense,” Stevens added. “But it’s taken a lot of commitment from a lot of guys and it still hasn’t been as consistent as maybe we’d like. … But this team, we will make sure it’s an emphasis from Day 1 that we’re the best version of ourselves defensively and we do have some lineups, especially, that we’ll be able to go to with the right effort and focus that could be awfully good defensively.”
The Celtics begin training camp Tuesday at the Auerbach Center ahead of their preseason opener on Sunday.