Brad Stevens said something unexpected after Friday’s win when addressing the success his team, the Bruins and Patriots have experienced at home:
“We’ve said from Day 1 with this group, our No. 1 objective was to be a team that Boston liked.”
Interesting choice of words given what happened last year — and how the leftover guys from 2018-19 have been so adamant about moving on from their disappointing season. But there’s an easy way to spin Stevens comments away from last year’s team: the Celtics wanted to be a team Boston could believe in as a contender.
Some aren’t sold yet, but the Celtics have certainly outperformed the expectations of most.
But that’s not the only reason the city is buying into this group. They are the ever overused phrase: likable. Another way to put it: they have fun.
And that goes for the entire team.
At one point during a stoppage in play, the Celtics broadcasted a review of Tatum’s Abercrombie & Fitch cologne on the jumbotron. Everyone had something funny to say and it was yet another entertaining, mid-game, team-produced video.
But one review stood out among the rest.
Grant Williams went so far as to comment on the image of Tatum on the cologne, in which he was shirtless. The rookie took Tatum to the woodshed, saying he had a “bird chest.”
Of course, Williams said it all in good fun, but when Tatum had the chance to give it right back after his dominant performance in Friday’s win, he let the rookie have it.
“Yeah, Grant … Grant is a hater,” Tatum said. “Because he ain’t made a three yet. Still waiting on that.”
Tatum also added, sarcastically, “I mean, we only played 21 games so far,” before pointing out, “I can’t wait for him to hit one. Everyone is going to go crazy.”
Williams has no problem discussing his shooting struggles with anyone. He even talked about his shot before Friday’s game. While that’s a good sign, the fact Tatum can say something like that about Williams shows how mentally strong the rookie is, and that these guys can bust each others’ chops without having to worry about offending anyone.
Because they’re having fun. And it’s usually easy to get behind anyone having fun.