TD Garden, Boston, Mass. — Brad Stevens was interviewed postgame after the Celtics’ 129-121 loss vs the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. Boston dropped two crucial games back-to-back against Miami, and now look to be locked into the play-in tournament.
On the season, the Celtics have looked poorly on defense, and the trend continued tonight. Stevens said “There are certain things that factor into that… if we’re going to be any good we really got to pressure the ball because of our size… we were late on switches, we were late in air space… less consistent than year’s past at defending generally.”
On Kemba Walker’s performance, Stevens said “Kemba is obviously an enormous key for us… we need it from everybody, but certainly he’s had a good couple of weeks.”
Boston let Miami go off from three, and Stevens admitted “We had so many unsolid possessions that ultimately we were off the bodies of shooters early… we switched out of convenience and not necessity.”
On the Celtics not having full health and seeing Miami at near full strength, Coach Stevens said “That team full, nobody’s going to want to play… they just have a lot of firepower… obviously we still have a week left before the play-in… time is running out to do that… we’ve got to play well, tomorrow we have to play better.”
With the team on a near-definitive path to the play-in tournament, Stevens said “You wanna finish with as high a seed as you can… yes we will manage that appropriately and accordingly.”
As for the loss of Jaylen Brown, he also said “As far as the Jaylen news, I don’t know how many guys knew… I’m sure some of the guys would know… he was still gathering information and opinions… nothing was solidified in that regard.”
Lastly, Stevens was asked about the team’s offense and getting to the basket consistently. “We need to be a better cutting team… it’s a little bit more difficult without Rob… we have to find the best version of this group, that’s available right now.”