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Brad Stevens: Celtics A Confident -- But Humble -- Bunch Ahead Of New Season

BOSTON (CBS) -- After last year's surprise run to the playoffs, there are actually some expectations for the 2015-16 Boston Celtics.

The C's went 20-10 to close out last season and claim the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, only to get swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Head coach Brad Stevens, who turned 39 on Thursday, says that experience not only gave the team confidence for the upcoming campaign, but also provided some humility.

"The way we finished last year shouldn't only add a sense of confidence because we played well at the end of the year, but a strong dose of humility because we got swept in the playoffs. That combination is usually productive," Stevens told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zolak & Bertrand on Thursday. "Hopefully we can build off of it."

Danny Ainge wasn't able to add a super star to the roster over the offseason, but with Amir Johnson and David Lee now in the mix in the front court, the Celtics are banking on the team's all-around depth to carry them to another playoff berth.

But for Stevens, just making the playoffs isn't the goal. Not for a franchise like the Boston Celtics.

"I'm not a big goal guy, but I have one goal and that is to win the whole thing. At the end of the day that can never change. You coach the Boston Celtics, so to say you want to finish in the playoffs, to say you want to win a game, no, you want to win the whole thing," explained Stevens. "Every day is a process to get there, so that's our focus right now. To me, it's more about 'Are we ready to play well Wednesday night? Are we ready to limit the mistakes on both sides of the ball and play well?'"

"It's a good group and a fun group; they are really appreciative of being Celtics," the coach added. "That's important. We're looking forward to the challenges ahead."

Stevens knows one of those challenges will be using that depth to their advantage. He said he has an idea of what his starting five will be when the C's start the new season Wednesday night against Philadelphia at the TD Garden, but won't announce it until next week.

And while the NBA is known as a league full of players who put their own individual success ahead of their team's, Stevens says that isn't the case with these Celtics.

"Ultimately everyone is going to go through times where they're emotional about their minutes or what they perceive to be their role on the team. In the NBA, we know all 15 guys will get ample opportunity because of the 82 game schedule, injuries, the travel. Everybody will get their shot to perform," he said. "We want to use our depth to our advantage and have no excuses; we want whoever is on the court to elevate our game. But I've heard our guys talking about it, and that's how you know you have a good group.

"If we can have a team like that, that's a really positive thing. I'll have to do some managing, but it's more about the individuals and their collective desire to win," he said. "These guys are already saying all the right things in that regard."

Stevens also touched on rookie R.J. Hunter and if he would take over coaching duties for the USA Basketball team:


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