While some are fretting over Boston’s tough December schedule, Celtics coach Ime Udoka takes it game-by-game

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Much ado has rightfully been made about the high level of difficulty of the Boston Celtics’ schedule in the month of December, with a strength of schedule frequently projected as among the NBA’s toughest. But for Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, the focus for his team is centered on how well the club is playing on any given night regardless of who the other team on the court may be.

And — in the rear-view mirror — the Celtics also employ a collection of games grouped together for better understanding trends the team has demonstrated in those matchups, once played.

Asked about the looming spike in difficulty and how the team views such games on a discrete basis, Udoka focused on how the team approaches its engagement with the schedule the league lays out for them.

I wouldn’t say (the team is concerned with) specific records from teams,” he explained, “obviously they are measuring-stick games and rivalry games get more attention, but for the most part, I try to go one by one.”

“I think we played pretty well against some of the teams with the top records — (the) Chicago (Bulls) and Washington (Wizards), some of the early losses against teams that were doing very well. It’s an opportunity to test ourselves, get healthy, get our whole group back. And we know we’re going on the West Coast for a long stretch, but don’t really look at it as an opponent other than one by one.”

“Those teams, some are playing well, some aren’t,” Udoka added.

The team’s annual long West Coast swing has for many years been one of the hardest parts of the schedule, and with that swing taking place in December, this season isn’t different in that regard, per the Celtics coach.

“Traditional teams that have done well,in the past, it’s just a chance to test ourselves. And like I said, we break everything up into more so 10 game increments and see where we were from the first to the last 10 (games) and the improvements we’ve made and stick to that more so than the opponent, see where we can grow in certain areas offensively and defensively.”

Boston will indeed get a strong read at how they will do when facing the league’s toughest challenges this December with their murderer’s row of a month about to kick off in earnest.

But as the month unfolds and some losses inevitably start to flow, it must be said that while December is indeed among the toughest months any team in the league will face, from January onward, the schedule gets rather light instead.

And so long as the Celtics come out with a respectable showing in the last month of 2021, the new year ought to bring changes of all sorts for Boston — including, hopefully, a better ratio of wins.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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