Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens doesn't want his team to get too high on a dominant win over the defending champion Toronto Raptors as he insists this win will mean nothing when the playoff comes. The Celtics thrashed the Raptors 122-100, in a match which was more lopsided than the final score would indicate.
The Raptors still hold the second place of the Eastern Conference with a 49-19 record, while the Celtics come at the third place with a 46-23 record. The Celtics entered the final quarter with a 34-point lead but the Raptors won the final quarter 43-31 to make it look a bit better.
The Celtics and the Raptors could meet again in a few weeks in the Eastern Conference semifinals and coach Stevens wants his team to be fully if that happens. "This game will mean nothing if we get that opportunity again," Stevens said, as quoted on ESPN.
"They're a really good team. And I thought they missed a lot of open looks and just wasn't their night. "I thought our guys played well, though. But it won't mean anything in a couple of weeks." Earlier this week, the Celtics suffered a 16-point defeat against the Miami Heat, who were playing without their top player Jimmy Butler.
Well, on Wednesday morning I didn't think we were very good," Stevens said, referring to Boston's loss. "So I'm not sure I've changed just with two nights' sleep. We have played a little better the last two games, but we have a long way to go to get to where we want to be."
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said it was a bad night for his team but gave credit to the Celtics
"It was hard to score," Nurse said of his team, which shot 43% from the field and 26% from 3-point range. "That's one of those nights where it didn't appear to me, I think we had 19 3s in the first half and I'm trying to think of which ones I wouldn't have wanted us to take.
There might have been one that we had to throw up or something, a shot-clock deal. The rest of 'em were pretty good and I think it hurt us that we didn't knock any of them down. It got us a little discouraged. "We were playing pretty good defense early, similar to the other night, but we just couldn't get any offense to energize us.
Give them credit, they were moving, they were active, but you've got to step in and make some of those shots if you want to beat a good team."