Ime Udoka Shares Mindset Celtics Fans Will Adore After Game 7 Win

'We don't hang or celebrate Eastern Conference championships...'


Ime Udoka may be his first season with the Celtics organization, but the Boston head coach knows the big-picture mindset long instilled in the franchise.

So, with the Celtics advancing to the NBA Finals on Sunday following their Game 7 victory over the Miami Heat, Udoka didn’t want to get too carried away despite winning the Eastern Conference finals in his first year at the helm. Udoka acknowledged how it is an accomplishment for the Celtics, but it doesn’t mean they’ve achieved their ultimate goal.

“It would be all for naught if we go lay and egg in the Finals, and we understand that,” Udoka told reporters after Boston’s 100-96 victory, per MassLive’s Brian Robb. “Guys were quick to celebrate but quick to flip the page and say, we’ve got four more. We don’t hang or celebrate Eastern Conference championships in the Celtic organization. So we all fall in line and appreciate that standard of excellence.”

Jayson Tatum expressed how he believed the Celtics earned the night to celebrate, but was in line with Udoka’s thinking when it came to the next round. Boston now will face Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. It marks the first trip to the title round since 2010 as the C’s look for the franchise’s first championship since 2008.

They now have the opportunity to fill the blank white and green banner that continues to hang at The Auerbach Center.

“Playing for championships, we’re here now, just got to finish the deal,” Udoka said. “… We’ve competed well against the best teams, and obviously you have to do that to make it to this point now.

“Very confident going in. I know it’s another tough challenge,” Udoka added. “I think Miami will help prep us for some of the off-ball actions and the shooters that they had. But we know it’s a high-level team, executing team, has a ton of great shooters, great players overall, guys I know well, and we’re ready for the challenge.”

The NBA Finals are set to tip off Thursday with Boston traveling to Golden State for Game 1 of the best-of-seven series at 9 p.m. ET.

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