NBA

Stevens pleased with improving Celtics as Brown stars

By Sports Desk December 07, 2018

Brad Stevens believes the Boston Celtics have put their early-season issues behind them and was delighted to see Jaylen Brown have an impact from the bench against the New York Knicks.

The Celtics (14-10) endured a difficult November as they lost eight games, but Thursday's 128-100 defeat of the Knicks was Boston's fourth straight win.

Coach Stevens observed a complete performance as his side outscored their opponents in every quarter and he suggested his team have moved on from their tough run.

He told reporters: "I think our guys are in a good spot from that standpoint.

"I don't see some of the issues we had earlier in the season when I watch us play. There are things we have to fix, but we're competing at a good level."

Brown was returning from a back injury and Stevens acknowledged his 21-point impact from the bench played a huge part in getting the job done late on.

"I thought he was really good. I thought he played with great pace and purpose and made really good decisions," Stevens said of Brown.

"I didn't think anything was forced, where sometimes, when you come off the bench, that's one of the things, you try to catch up to the game quickly. He just played the right way and we needed our bench unit in the second quarter to give us a little bit of a lead.

"Then it went back and forth and we were lucky enough to be up by 11 at half-time. But we were back and forth because we couldn't get stops for the longest time.

"Finally, there, at the start of the fourth, we pushed it out a little bit and [Brown] was a big part of that."

Related items

  • LeBron sends best wishes to top NBA prospect Zion Williamson after injury LeBron sends best wishes to top NBA prospect Zion Williamson after injury

    Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James held his breath for Zion Williamson after the top NBA prospect suffered a knee injury

    Duke star Williamson left Wednesday's matchup against North Carolina inside a minute and did not return midweek.

    The 18-year-old freshman suffered the injury while dribbling toward the basket about 40 seconds into the game when his Nike sneaker ripped.

    Williamson fell to the floor and grabbed his leg before heading to the Duke bench and then the locker room.

    NBA great James reacted on social media, writing via Twitter: "Hope young fella is ok! Literally blew thru his [shoe]."

    Williamson has been one of the best players in college basketball this season and he is expected to be selected with the number one pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

  • Duke star Williamson suffers knee injury Duke star Williamson suffers knee injury

    Duke star Zion Williamson suffered a knee injury during his team's clash against North Carolina on Wednesday.

    The 18-year-old freshman was dribbling towards the basket about 40 seconds into the game when his sneaker ripped.

    Williamson fell to the floor and grabbed his leg before heading to the Duke bench. He then went to the locker room.

    Duke later announced Williamson would not return.

    He has been one of the best players in college basketball this season and is expected to be selected with the number one pick in the NBA Draft.

    He entered the matchup averaging 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds while shooting 68.3 per cent from the field.

  • 'Everybody wants to actually talk about bull****' – Irving angry over Durant video rumours 'Everybody wants to actually talk about bull****' – Irving angry over Durant video rumours

    Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving labelled free agency speculation generated from a video with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant as "bull****".

    Irving was seen talking to Durant in the tunnel at the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte last week, prompting rumours the pair could team up with the New York Knicks next season.

    Both Irving and Durant can become free agents at the end of the current campaign and the pair have been linked to the Knicks.

    Celtics star Irving was noticeably agitated when answering questions about his discussion with Durant.

    "It's my life, right?" Irving told reporters on Wednesday. "It's two people talking, having a conversation. If this was the real world, would it be anybody else's business? It's a video of somebody assuming what we're talking about. So why would I care about it? Why are you asking me those type of questions?"

    "C'mon man, you do it for the likes and clicks, everybody does," Irving added. "Everybody wants to hear me talk like this. Everybody wants to actually talk about bull****. video though? To pour water on [speculation]? Makes no sense. It's not real life. Not real."

    "That's where we started the conversation, what I do in my life is my business," he continued. "So it's none of yours, none of anybody's business, right? So it's a video of me and one of my best friends talking. And then it turns out to be a dissection of a free agency meeting?"

    The Celtics have had an up-and-down season and entered the All-Star break fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 37-21 record. 

    Irving addressed the team's inconsistency, telling ESPN: "It's been a trying year for us. We basically have a bunch of young men in our locker room who feel like they're capable of doing a lot more than they're doing. And that's OK, but there's a maturing that you have to have. There's a professionalism that you have to showcase every single day, and that's what the great ones do.

    "I initially didn't play the minutes I wanted to play. I'm 26 years old, heading into my prime, like, why do I have to wait for anybody? [Terry Rozier] played in the playoffs. He did extremely well. Coming back, that's a natural competition that me and him have.

    "It is what it is. No one wants to say it, but I will. You know, [Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum], all these guys, it's part of their growth. When you have winning in mind, you've gotta understand that. You gotta do what it takes, but you gotta understand your team-mates."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.