Rasheed Wallace was at his locker talking to the media last week when Kevin Garnett strolled by and shouted, “Quit lying!”
Wallace, who was addressing the Celtics’ strong-willed desire to keep improving, fired back across the room, “If we can get Kevin to step up.”
The tight-knit 7-footers go back and forth with each other all day, as if they were Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys.” But joking aside, the Celtics are serious about playing better basketball despite an NBA-best 20-4 record that includes an 11-game winning streak.
“We’re just trying to zone in and focus in more on defense and play Celtic basketball,” Wallace said. “We try to play the way we know how to play, and that’s the winning way.”
The hot start is anything but impressive to the veterans in Boston’s locker room they’ve had better records through 24 games in each of the last two seasons. They started 21-3 and won 29 games before their fourth loss in 2007-08. Last season, they were 21-3 and won 27 games prior to their fourth defeat.
“We are not a flawless team. We do make mistakes,” Garnett said. “I think we’re just true to what we talk about.”
Coach Doc Rivers said his team still has to learn how to play 48 full minutes rather than in spurts, but he was very impressed with the brand of ball they played during a recent four-game road trip that included a victory against the Spurs. As Rivers said, the C’s have more to build off of than to correct, and that’s a good thing.
“My favorite game this year was the San Antonio game because after the game, all of the players were upset with the way they played,” Rivers said. “And we won a game in San Antonio. To me, that’s a team that’s maturing a little bit, and that’s good.”