By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Celtics coach Brad Stevens is (already) no stranger to Game 7 showdowns. Especially on the parquet of the TD Garden.
The 41-year-old Stevens saw his team win his first career Game 7, a second-round affair against the Wizards last season, and this year’s Green squad kept their season alive with a Game 7 win over the Bucks in the first round.
That 2-0 record is as good as it can get for Stevens and the Celtics.
But this next one, set for Sunday night in Boston, is certainly different. Following their failure to close their third-round series against LeBron James and the Cavaliers last night in Cleveland, the C’s return back to Boston, where a do-or-die Game 7 awaits. And with a trip to the the NBA Finals on the line. In other words, the stakes have never been higher.
It’s enough to make anybody crack, but Stevens doesn’t want to look at it from a pressure standpoint.
“Got to get ready to play. Got to get ready to play at a high level, just like every other game, and then it’s win or go home,” Stevens said of Game 7. “It’s an absolute blast to prepare for as a coach and play in as a player. It’ll be a heck of a challenge, playing a really good team with obviously a tremendous individual player who put on a tremendous show [Friday].”
When asked what he will tell his team entering Game 7, Stevens kept it as simple as he could.
“Prepare well and have a great time,” said Stevens. “Enjoy it.”
The Celtics can take some comfort in the fact that they’ve posted a perfect 10-0 record at TD Garden this postseason, as well, but it can’t be the only thing they take in, said Celtics guard Terry Rozier.
“We’ve still got to come out aggressive and play Celtics basketball,” Rozier said following Game 6. “We can’t just rely on being at home. Can’t just rely on us being at home for an excuse that it’s going to be easy. It’s not. But like I said, we’re looking forward to it. We’ve got to come out aggressive, and we’ve got to make things happen.”
The Celtics are 22-8 in Game 7s in their franchise history, and possess a 21-4 mark in Game 7s played at home, too.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.