BOSTON — Kemba Walker put it best.
The Boston Celtics can’t feel bad for themselves following a noteworthy collapse against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at TD Garden. After all, they’re back at it again Wednesday.
And with that, the Celtics will look to take the humbling lessons they learned against Brooklyn with them to Cleveland, and thus throughout the remainder of the regular season.
“Definitely a tough loss, probably the toughest one of the year, but you know, the greatest thing about this league is we play again (Wednesday),” Walker said after Tuesday’s contest. “So, got to go out there and what matters is focusing on the ‘W.'”
Gordon Hayward, who will miss Wednesday’s game against the Cavaliers, is confident the Celtics can take a less from the loss, as well.
“You’ve got to treat it as a learning experience,” Hayward said. “You know when you take your foot off the gas pedal anybody can come back at you. Just got to be better on both ends of the court, but we did a really good job building the lead, but they stormed back and you know, tough plays at the end of course.
“You’re around this league for long enough time, sometimes 20 even 30 points isn’t enough and like I said, as soon as you take you foot off the gas pedal guys get hot, short possessions, there’s always time to come back,” Hayward said. “We’ve just got to be better.”
Coach Brad Stevens believes Tuesday’s result could provide a big-picture snapshot for the Celtics.
“I think if you play to momentum, and you’re reliant upon momentum, then you — you will lose. Or you will not maximize your team, certainly,” Stevens said.
“Like, teams of runs lose. Teams that can stay in the moment, and play the next possession the right way, and not be influenced by the score, not be influenced by the situation of the game, circumstances of the game, or have a different level of toughness and special toughness. We?ve exhibited that most of the year; I think this is an anomaly, but nonetheless this was a very humbling one.”
The Celtics will look to regain that edge as they face the Cleveland Cavaliers without Walker, who is not traveling with the team, and Hayward, who left Tuesday’s game with a right knee contusion. Jayson Tatum (illness) missed Tuesday, and his status is also up in the air.
Tipoff from the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland is set for 7 p.m. ET.