Celtics' Ime Udoka: 'All for naught if we lay an egg in the Finals'

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Ime Udoka delivers strong message for C's ahead of NBA Finals originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Ime Udoka quickly shifted his focus to the NBA Finals after his team won its first Eastern Conference title since 2010.

The Boston Celtics head coach celebrated Sunday's Game 7 victory over the Miami Heat, but he knows the job isn't finished. He's on to Golden State.

Celtics-Heat takeaways: C's hold on late to advance to NBA Finals

"It'll be all for naught if we go lay an egg in the Finals, and we understand that," Udoka said after the Celtics' 100-96 win. "Guys were quick to celebrate but quick to flip the page and say 'we got four more.'

"We don't hang or celebrate Eastern Conference championships in the Celtics organization, so we all fall in line and appreciate that standard of excellence."

That's exactly what C's fans want to hear from their first-year head coach, and you can bet the message was received in Boston's locker room.

Udoka also spoke about his expectations heading into what should be a tough series vs. the Warriors.

"We played Golden State pretty well this year," he said. "Obviously, beat them pretty bad late in the season when we were kind of rolling. Early in the season, took a close loss and we had some guys in and out. They had a big lead early but we fought our way back. So the story of the season, we've competed well against the best teams, and obviously you've got to do that to make it to this point now.

"So, very confident going in. I know it's a tough challenge. I think Miami will help prep us for some of the off-ball actions and the shooters that they had. But we know it's a high-level team that has a ton of great shooters, great players overall, guys I know well, and we'll be ready for the challenge."

The NBA Finals begin Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. For the full series schedule, go here.