Thursday, December 13, 2012
C's are ready for the road
By Greg Payne
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesDoc Rivers checks out some film on the team plane.
BOSTON -- With only two home games remaining in the month of December, the Boston Celtics seemed poised to embrace the road atmosphere following their double-overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night.
The Celtics are still looking to string multiple wins together, and Kevin Garnett suggested being on the road can bring a team closer and help that process.
"Being on the road makes you come together. It does give you a sense of togetherness," Garnett said. "When you're on the road, that's it. You might have some fans there that appreciate you and love the team. Other than that, you're among each other and we do a pretty good job of staying together when we're on the road. We actually like being the road warriors. But it's a nice test coming up for us."
Jason Terry was quick to echo Garnett's thoughts, noting that the upcoming three-game trip, with stops in Houston, San Antonio, and Chicago, will test Boston in multiple ways.
"You definitely can build your confidence on the road because you're going to be in tough environments," Terry explained. "Houston's playing very well, they're scoring in the high 115 to 120s every night. San Antonio plays the same way. So, those two and then you play Chicago, who you know is a tough matchup for us. This is an opportunity, again, for us, starting with Houston, to build up some confidence and get some wins strung together."
As Garnett noted, the Celtics have had a unique affection for the road in recent seasons, and head coach Doc Rivers credited his veterans for instilling the right mindset in the rest of his players.
"I think when you have Kevin and Paul [Pierce], in particular, I don’t think the road has an effect on either one of those guys," Rivers said before Wednesday's game. "Then you add Jason Terry to your team, who is a veteran, and I think he loves making big shots on the road. It bears well for your team on the road."
Though Boston will need to take this upcoming trip seriously, Jeff Green couldn't help but joke about the recent streak of games in which current Celtics have faced their former teams. The C's defeated Green's former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, late last month; Terry took down the Mavericks on Wednesday; and Courtney Lee is now on deck, with his most recent team prior to joining Boston, the Rockets, up next on the schedule.
"Yeah, we're 2-0 now," Green said. "Now we've got Courtney coming up, Houston."
Lee, though, isn't looking to make this visit personal.
"It's just another game. It's not one of those games or a situation like -- my situation it was business, so I got up out of there," Lee said. "[Jason Terry's situation], like with Dallas, he's been there for years playing, being one of their go-to guys, and with the contract situation, they didn't want to extend him. So, this game was more personal for him than going to Houston will be for me."