BOSTON — Brad Stevens is well aware the Boston Celtics will be challenged by the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.
Boston has struggled with transition defense and the Kings have one of the best transition offenses in the league. The C’s squeaked out a 111-109 win March 6 in Sacramento, but Stevens noted his team improving its transition defense will be a top priority ahead of Thursday’s matchup at TD Garden.
“We’ve been one of the worst transition defensive teams since the All-Star break,” Stevens said. “This is the best transition offensive team in the league. So that is going to be where the game starts, obviously. We’ve gotta do a lot better job. They put you on your heels the whole time.”
Stevens noted his team won’t be able to practice transition drills, so a strong game against the Kings is crucial, especially with the postseason on the horizon.
“I look at this (game) as we’re not gonna be able practice transition drills right now. We don’t have enough bodies,” he said. “… This is the best thing we can be doing tonight is playing against the best transition offense in the league and really become even more committed to being great at that.”
While it certainly will be a good test for Boston, Stevens did add both Jayson Tatum (shoulder) and Marcus Smart (illness) will be available to play, so having them back in the lineup will provide a boost on both ends of the court.
Thumbnail photo via Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY Sports Images