BOSTON — Before his Celtics held their first shootaround of the season last week in Philadelphia, Brad Stevens was asked how he felt about the state of his remade roster.
“This time of year, it is exciting. It’s fun,” Stevens said.
“But, in a lot of ways, it’s information-gathering. We’re going to learn a lot about ourselves.”
Eight days later, the Cheap Boston Celtics Jerseys China remain a work in progress. They’re still trying to figure out who they are, and have dealt with multiple injuries. But through their first four games one thing is clear, especially after Wednesday night’s 116-105 victory over the Cheap Milwaukee Bucks Jerseys China at TD Garden: The Celtics remain a factor in the Eastern Conference.
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“On any given night, if we play like we are supposed to, we can compete with anybody,” Celtics guard Cheap Marcus Smart Jersey China told ESPN. “And that resiliency that we’ve been looking for is there.
“We just have to continue to show it every night.”
That resiliency was on display Wednesday night. Boston was without rotation players Cheap Enes Kanter Jersey China (knee) and Cheap Jaylen Brown Jersey China (illness), and fell behind by 19 points in the first half. Despite the deficit and playing with a roster thinned by multiple injuries, the Celtics responded with a 37-11 run from midway through the third quarter until midway through the fourth, turning the game on its head and delivering Boston its third consecutive win.
It was a fittingly confusing game for a team that still has so much to sort out. But, at least in the early going, the Celtics are beginning to create an identity for themselves as a team that isn’t going to quit.
“We’re tough,” said Cheap Kemba Walker Jersey China, who finished with a game-high 32 points in 38 minutes. “We’re not going to shy away when things go wrong. We’re going to win as a team, and we’re going to lose as a team. When things are going bad, what I’m going to try to do is keep us together. That’s the most important thing for this year.
“Tonight was a great example of that. We could have easily lost this game by a lot. But we kept on talking to each other, just keeping each other confident, and that’s going to be important for us throughout this year.”
This game could’ve gone in plenty of directions. The same could be said about Boston’s win Friday over the Cheap Toronto Raptors Jerseys China, a game the Celtics trailed by six points entering the fourth quarter. That the Celtics managed to win both, against the two teams that reached the Eastern Conference finals a season ago, proves the points of Smart and Walker. Boston does appear it is going to be a resilient team, if nothing else.
Beyond that? There’s still a lot to sort out.
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Walker clearly seemed to be pressing through his first seven quarters as a Celtic, but has gotten back to being the player who became an All-NBA guard with the Cheap Charlotte Hornets Jerseys China since exploding in the fourth quarter of that win over Toronto. Cheap Gordon Hayward Jersey China, meanwhile, has impressed multiple scouts with his play to start the season, as he continues to move closer to being the player he was before suffering his gruesome ankle and leg injuries in the season opener in Cleveland two years ago.
Tatum did have 25 points Wednesday, thanks to a strong second half, but scouts have noted how tunnel-visioned he has been offensively, often forcing up shots when passing elsewhere would be better. And it always is complicated having four players — Walker, Hayward, Tatum and Brown — who all need the ball in their hands on a regular basis to be at their best.
Meanwhile, the center position has been a mixed bag, with Kanter — the one sure thing of some sort Boston has inside — having not played since banging his knee guarding Cheap Joel Embiid Jersey China in the season-opening loss to Philadelphia. Second-year center Cheap Robert Williams Jersey China has had some moments, and Cheap Daniel Theis Jersey China played well Wednesday (11 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes), but the Celtics have by no means solved their problems there yet.
The same goes for backup point guard, where rookie Cheap Carsen Edwards Jersey China and veteran Cheap Brad Wanamaker Jersey China have both failed to impress.
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The Celtics, however, were under no illusion that this team was going to be a finished product when the season began. Working Walker into a new situation was always going to take time. Rookie forward Cheap Grant Williams Jersey China has quickly made himself a fixture in Stevens’ rotation, and has impressed, but playing a rookie and a second-year player in Robert Williams, who barely played a year ago, has created its own share of growing pains.
All of that, though, is what makes how Boston has played over the past week all the more satisfying for the Celtics. They know just how much work is left to be done, which is why they are so encouraged by how things have started.
“The key is how do you handle good nights, and then how do you handle the storms that are coming inevitably in the season,” Stevens said. “I’m really encouraged because when this team was in half time, they were saying all the right things, they were thinking all the right things.
“At the end of the second quarter, we wanted to cut into that lead so bad, we were just trying to hit it out of the park every time we shot. So finally we just settled down and just hit singles and just played the right way.”
The Celtics are still in the information-gathering stage — and likely will be for quite some time to come. So far, though, they like what they’re seeing.