Celtics coach Udoka ‘very confident' going into Finals vs. Dubs


It’s official: The Warriors will play the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, and the reactions are rolling in.

After Boston took Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals from the Miami Heat on Sunday, Celtics coach Ime Udoka naturally looked ahead to his team’s next challenge in Golden State.

In fact, he didn’t want the Celtics to celebrate their conference title for very long knowing what awaits them.

“We’re quick to flip the page and say, ‘We’ve got four more,’” Udoka told reporters after the series-clinching game. “We don’t hang or celebrate Eastern Conference championships in the Celtics organization … We’re here now trying to finish the deal.”

The Warriors haven’t won a series against Boston since the 2014-15 season, and this year the two teams split their season series 1-1.

In their two meetings, Golden State won the first matchup 111-107 at TD Garden on Dec. 17, and the Celtics came away with a commanding 110-88 victory at Chase Center in March.

“We played Golden State pretty well this year, obviously beat them pretty bad late in the season,” Udoka said, noting that even in their loss to the Warriors this season, the Celtics fought back from a large deficit to make it close. “So the story this season, we’ve competed well against the best teams, and obviously you have to do that to make it to this point now.”

The Warriors’ reputation certainly precedes them, having won three NBA titles since Boston’s last Finals appearance in 2010.

But after running the gauntlet in the East, Udoka believes his Celtics are prepared.

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“So, very confident going in,” he said. “I know it’s another tough challenge. I think Miami will help prep us for some of the off-ball actions in the shooters that they had. But we know [the Warriors are] a high-level team, executing team that has a ton of great shooters, great players overall, guys I know well.

“We’re ready for the challenge.”

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Celtics will take place on Thursday at Chase Center.

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