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Boston Celtics won’t find it easy to repeat NBA success – Stevens

Boston have their major players under contract for next season

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are not anticipating any major moves this off-season but that doesn’t make them a certainty to retain their NBA Championship, according to the team’s president of basketball operations Brad Stevens.

The Celtics’ star players – Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, Jrue Holliday and Derrick White – are all under contract for next season, negating the need for too many alterations to a team that swept to a 4-1 Finals win over the Dallas Mavericks.

The Celtics will start the season as overwhelming favorites to go back to back but Stevens was preaching caution.

He said: “I don’t know what the league’s going to look like in three weeks, so who knows?” 

“But I know this. Human nature is going to be another huge opponent. All of our opponents – when you win – the other 29 teams target you. It’s a different thing to come back from to then be great again.”

Stevens knows the Celtics will be able to field a powerful line-up, though.

He added: “I think there’s a lot of moving parts to keeping this roster sustainable beyond this year. But specifically to this year, we’ve got a lot of guys back. 

“It will be hard for any draft pick to crack our rotation when healthy. So we’ll think about how we can continue to invest in young players and their development and growth, with the reality that if we’re able to continue to move forward with this group – these guys are going to be on the court.

“We’ll always evaluate how to make our team better. But I think we would be crazy not to say that character and the foundation of this team is right. And let’s see if we can be as consistent as we can. Grow. Develop. Get better. Improve. 

“I’m not anticipating major changes, at least early on. Because I think this team deserves that.”

The Celtics have rightly received all the plaudits over recent weeks for a hugely impressive season. But Stevens was attempting to maintain an equilibrium and urged everyone at the franchise to “keep going”.

“The adulation doesn’t mean much in all sincerity. And the scrutiny doesn’t mean much either,” Stevens said. 

“If you hang a banner everybody is going to talk about how great you are. And if you don’t, they’re going to talk about how much you stink. If you tie your approach to that, then you’re just going to ride a roller coaster that’s not worth the journey. So, I think the most important thing is you appreciate the people you’re with, you try your best to have the best season you can. And you just keep going.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.