Brad Stevens says Celtics are ‘itching to get started’ after Game 7 loss to Cavs
The Boston Celtics managed to blow everyone’s expectations out of the water, not only getting past the first round with a hollowed-out roster but only falling one game shy of the NBA Finals — as the painful Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers still remains a touchy subject with head coach Brad Stevens.
The young coach is raring to go once again, this time hopeful to deploy his star-studded lineup, after Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both suffered season-ending injuries that rendered them unable to make a final playoff push.
“There’s no question we’re itching to get started,” said Stevens as a guest in Yahoo Sports NBA podcast. “As good as that run was, it was a bad taste in our mouth at the very end.”
The Celtics can make a run for the conference crown with a LeBron James-less East and potentially even challenge for the best record in the league with a loaded roster full of young and veteran talent.
Boston will have to compete against other suitors for the throne, including the new-look Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers, both expected to bring something new to the table this time around.
The Raptors reloaded, adding Kawhi Leonard after pouncing on a deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs, while the Sixers are hoping Markelle Fultz’ integration takes the team to the next level.
If Stevens has his way, this will be the C’s title to take, looking to put haunting Game 7 moments behind them and write their own history now that James has relinquished his stronghold on the East.