Celtics head coach Brad Stevens knew from the beginning of the season that his team would run into some rough patches.
Before Monday night's game vs the Clippers, Stevens addressed the ups and downs of the C's 2018-19 campaign and referred to it as a "journey of growth."
"I didn't think we were very good in October," Stevens told NBA.com. "If you go back to any of our preseason games, there was a lot of alarms going off, a lot of red flags. You could tell that we were going to have some struggles going into the season. And so it's been a journey of growth like it always is, and there's valleys in that, there's peaks in that, you just kind of move on. I said earlier this week, our teams in the past have done a better job of staying in the moment in games, and a better job of moving on after games. And that's what this team hopefully, you know, is getting to. We're encouraged by the way we're capable of playing. We're encouraged by the results of this trip. But we still need to play better and we know that."
In what's been a tumultuous season of off-court drama, Celtics star Kyrie Irving's leadership often has been called in question. Asked about how Irving's leadership impacts the team over the course of the season, Stevens stressed that it isn't about one player. It's about the entire unit.
"Everybody's leadership impacts it, right? But I think certainly we take a lot from Kyrie, but we owe a lot to Kyrie," Stevens said. "We have to be responsible and doing all of our jobs well too. And, you know, the guy who's the best player always gets the most scrutiny and then when things go really well always gets a lot of praise. And the reality is that he's going to get all that kind of attention, and I think we all have jobs to do to lessen that in times where it's not going as well because it's never about one person, it's about all of us. It's about a team."
With 15 games remaining on the year, the Celtics find themselves in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, one game behind the 76ers and Pacers. Following victories over the Warriors, Kings, and Lakers, Stevens and the Celtics look to complete the four-game West Coast road trip sweep with a win versus the Clippers.
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