Brad Stevens Shares Thoughts on Challenge Play-In Poses for Celtics

May 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens.
May 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens. / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the postseason, the Boston Celtics are in the dark. Their reward for a 64-win season is not knowing their first-round matchup until the Play-In Tournament concludes.

First, the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat play, and the winner of that game will play the New York Knicks. From there, the loser of that game will play the winner of the Chicago Bulls-Atlanta Hawks matchup, and Boston will get the victor.

While most assume the 76ers and Heat will be the two teams to advance, Boston is forced to operate with uncertainty. That means preparing for multiple scenarios while waiting to hone in on a specific opponent.

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon. He noted the success of the Play-In Tournament from an engagement standpoint.

But when questioned about the challenges of Boston not knowing their first-round opponent, Stevens broadened his perspective.

Everything is challenging in the playoffs,” Stevens said. “The one thing about the playoffs is you better play well. So, we’re going to play a really good team right out of the gate regardless of which of the four teams it is. We’re going to have to be ready, and we’re going to have to play well.”

The regular season and postseason are different beasts. There is no such thing as an easy road to a title. Each champion’s path may look different, but they all faced a unique set of circumstances en route to a ring.

For the Celtics, that path starts with the unknown. And that’s okay.

Further Reading

Brad Stevens Notes Crucial Element of Celtics' Title Pursuit: 'Bigger Than Themselves'

After Career Night, Reflective Payton Pritchard Discusses NBA Journey and His Ultimate Pursuit

'Nip That in the Bud': Celtics Address End-of-Season Struggles

Jrue Holiday on Celtics Extension: 'Try to Get More Banners, Get More Rings'

Celtics Embracing Challenge to Go Beyond Most Talented

Jayson Tatum Opens Up About Sacrificing in Celtics' Title Pursuit: 'It's a Process'

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Bobby Krivitsky


Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.