Head coach Brad Stevens is well known for his even-keeled demeanor by Celtics fans, players, and around the league. After last night’s blowout 121-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, (a team Boston beat just 11 days prior) Stevens made an exception. What was said to the players in the locker room after the game is unknown, but clearly he was heated:
Thomas on Stevens: "That's the most upset he's been since I've been here."— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) November 25, 2015
In the postgame press conference, he wasn’t exactly in a "Rex Ryan tirade", but by Brad Stevens’ standards, he was pretty damn angry. He spent the time to call out his team on their lackluster effort. Via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe:
“We’re not playing basketball as a team on either end of the floor,” Stevens said. “We’ve had good quarters that have masked our deficiencies, and we need to get back to being a team. We need to get back in one direction. And I think the best way we’ll be able to recognize it is if we guard somebody once.”
“If you approach this game on an island, you’re gonna get pounded,” he said, “and so that’s why I said we had this coming. So we’ll see how we respond.”
Unfortunately, this is the sad truth about the current 2015-2016 Boston Celtics. They aren’t good enough to just “show up” and win games in the NBA. Their key advantage is their depth, and if they aren’t hustling and making it hard on their opponents with effort, they just don’t have the talent to compete, especially against high caliber teams like Atlanta.
Based on recent events, Stevens saw this loss coming. Via Marc D'Amico of Celtics.com:
"We had this coming," Stevens said. "We haven't played well in a few days now. Even when we beat Brooklyn at home, we had a good quarter. But we had this coming."
When Stevens was asked how the team will look to improve, he had this to say:
Salty Brad Stevens: "The best way that we will be able to recognize [playing better] is if we guard somebody once.”— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) November 25, 2015
Brad Stevens: "We’ll reconnect, or we’ll shuffle it up."— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) November 25, 2015
It’s not very often we hear these strong, emotional statements from the 3rd year coach from Butler, but last night he obviously felt it was needed. A threat towards a lineup change should be something that gets everyone’s attention, and we will see how the players respond when they tip off tonight at home vs. Philadelphia.
On that note, it’s troubling to see any of these Celtics players not giving 100%. Especially when they know Danny Ainge is only one phone call away from sending their ass to the NBA players hell known as the Philadelphia 76ers, where you are basically subject to the same rules Michael Jordan has in Space Jam if he loses to the Monstars...
Click below to see Brad Stevens’ full post game interview.
Video Credit: Jay King/Masslive.com
Photo Credit: Jamie Rhodes/USA Today
For more Celtics news and takes follow Nolan on Twitter @NolanChuck Nolan Connor 11/25/2015 12:26:00 PM Tweet Edit