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As pampering as a non-public jet could also be, NBA groups nonetheless must fly both to a different metropolis or house late after video games, usually practising the subsequent day in one other time zone.
The Orlando bubble has erased these inconveniences. When the Celtics performed Miami and Brooklyn on back-to-back nights final week, they nonetheless acquired to return to the identical lodge mattress.
However Brad Stevens isn’t prepared to put in writing off the absence of journey as a bonus. Journey can have its benefits. It’s balanced by the truth that groups are in isolation, away from their households.
“I believe that is an unbelievable setup by the NBA,” Stevens mentioned earlier than Sunday’s sport in opposition to the Magic. “The basketball is particular and the chance to be on the court docket is particular, the shortcoming to be house is hard. I perceive your query from a journey perspective however simply as touring hotel-to-hotel and going again house for every week and being round your loved ones — as a lot as that journey is tough, there are different challenges that include not touring.”
Enjoying it straight
Don’t anticipate to see plenty of experimenting by the Celtics coach over these final three video games in opposition to Orlando, Memphis and Washington – the latter 0-6 within the bubble after a blowout loss Sunday to Oklahoma Metropolis.
The Wizards additionally not have something to play for. They’ve formally been eradicated, leaving Orlando with the eighth seed and the Nets with the seventh.
Not that it issues a lot to Stevens, who’s within the fine-tuning part at this level.
“We simply wish to play to your requirements in addition to we are able to,” he mentioned. “I believe I do know our staff, I do know what we’re good at and I do know what we have to do higher. It’s only a matter of taking part in in addition to we are able to and constructing that make the fitting subsequent play mentality right here over nevertheless lengthy we get to be right here.
“We made good strides to this point, I’m inspired,” mentioned Stevens. “This schedule has been very onerous and that continues at this time. I believe Steve (Clifford, Magic coach) does a fantastic job and we performed them proper earlier than the playoffs final 12 months. I believed they got here and ready us for playoff basketball. I’m anticipating a bodily robust sport at this time and that ought to solely profit us as we transfer ahead.”
Walker ramping up
Kemba Walker’s minutes restriction was anticipated to be raised to a ceiling of 32 minutes Sunday, along with his fellow starters prone to log extra if the scenario demanded it.
At this level, in keeping with Stevens, remaining in sport form is extra vital than relaxation.
“I be ok with our form now, however it’s a must to stick with it,” mentioned the Celtics coach. “So long as guys really feel good they’ll play for now, as a result of I do suppose rhythm and conditioning are vital. It’s not like we’ve performed 80 video games and now it’s the playoffs. We’ve performed 5, so we’ve got to proceed to get our really feel for one another and that degree we’d like. I’m inspired as a result of we got here in saying we’d play our greatest as we go alongside. That’s been the case within the final couple, however we’ll see if we are able to stick with it.”