Ime Udoka, Like Brad Stevens, Optimistic With How Celtics Have Played

'We're playing the right way'


November 3, 2021

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has been at the forefront while criticizing how his team has not put together a full game, or how Boston has struggled with effort, or how it has been underwhelming on the defensive side of the floor.

But Udoka, similar to how president of basketball operations Brad Stevens feels, remains optimistic when discussing the big picture. And while he acknowledged the Celtics are, especially record-wise, not living up to their standard, he believes the group is continuing to head in the right direction.

“If you look at the big picture approach, I think, losing two double-overtime games where Jayson (Tatum) had a game-winning shot opening night against New York, and then Jaylen (Brown) had a chance to win it against Washington. And then you look at last game where we were up 19, you know, you look at the record, that’s one thing, but you look at the results and the growth that we’ve shown in the last few games,” Udoka said on a video conference Wednesday. “Like I said, with the guys, it’s a big-picture approach. We’re playing the right way. We haven’t closed out a few for whatever reason, and as long as we’re heading in the right direction and continue to go toward our goals, I think that’s the big picture.

“It could easily be 4-3, 5-2 and then probably wouldn’t be any questions about it, but the fact that we don’t have finish, you’re going to get these questions,” Udoka continued. “And 2-5 is not up to our standard of where our guys would like to be, obviously.”

Udoka, of course, was also asked about his feelings regarding the postgame comments made by Celtics guard Marcus Smart on Monday after Boston’s embarrassing collapse to the Chicago Bulls. Udoka essentially said those comments had already been stated amongst the team, and Smart asking more of Tatum and Brown, specifically, is something the coach also has done since taking over the job this offseason.

The 2-5 Celtics will try to bounce back from three consecutive losses as they take on the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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