Sports

Celtics coach Stevens isn't listening to talk of tanking, but his players are

  • Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson, left, fights for position on a rebound with Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson, left, fights for position on a rebound with Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)  (The Associated Press)

  • Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens watches from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. The Bobcats won 89-83. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens watches from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. The Bobcats won 89-83. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)  (The Associated Press)

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens says he has no time to worry about talk that the Boston Celtics would be better off losing.

But if the players want to use it as motivation, that's fine with him.

Stevens took over the once-proud franchise after it traded away Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and coach Doc Rivers over the summer. The Celtics were expected to struggle and compete for a spot in the lottery. That could land them one of the coveted college players making next year's draft one of the deepest ever.

But Stevens is only concerned about winning.

The Celtics opened the season with four straight losses before returning to .500 with a four-game winning streak. A loss to Charlotte on Wednesday night dropped them to 4-5.