Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Celtics have improved every year under Coach of the Year candidate Brad Stevens, from 25 wins to 40, to 48, to 53, to this year's 55 after last night's 110-97 shorthanded triumph of the Nets.
It's a remarkable feat when you consider Boston lost 216 games to injury or illness. All-Star Kyrie Irving was limited to 60 games and won't play this postseason, Marcuses Smart and Morris missed almost 30 apiece, and we know would-be All-Star Gordon Hayward only played 5 minutes and 15 seconds all year.
But, C's still managed to improve and will next host the Bucks for Game 1 of the first-round of the playoffs Sunday at 1 o'clock. Game 2 is Tuesday night.
Stevens is excited, even in spite of that depleted roster.
"It's an absolute blast to get a chance to compete in the playoffs, that's what you work for," Stevens said. "It's what you work for as a staff, it's what you work for as a team. The players put in an incredible amount of energy throughout the entire season and had a great regular season, and some of them are going to play bigger roles than they thought, and they get to enjoy the opportunity to compete and play at the highest level."
One good note--the C's won't have to face the Raptors, Cavaliers, or Wizards before the conference finals, provided they get there.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman reports