Brad Stevens was interviewed pregame before the Celtics’ game vs the New York Knicks. He talked about Tristan Thompson’s return, the Knicks’ physicality, and the Celtics making a push for the playoffs.
Thompson is set to return tonight after missing over three weeks due to health and safety protocols. Stevens said that Thompson will play in short bursts and will not play too many minutes in a row. He also mentioned that having his veteran presence on the floor will be huge and that he and Robert Williams will spearhead the Celtics’ center rotation. He said that it’s “enormous to have him back.”
Stevens also discussed the Knicks, who are having a surprisingly good season. He said that the Knicks have a tough and physical team with a few “sneaky old” veterans to round out their roster. He praised their ability to set a tone and play with great physicality, and has a “great deal of respect [for] how they’ve played.”
As for the playoff push, Stevens mentioned how important it is for the Celtics to strive to avoid the play-in. He said that the team will be represented by how they are at the end of the season. He mentioned that it’s obvious that the team would prefer to avoid playing in the play-in tournament.