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The Celtics played the role of over-achievers all the way to the #1 seed in the East and a trip to the conference finals. While optimistic fans had them pegged for the latter of those achievements perhaps with all the various injuries throughout the year and the tragedy that occurred at the start of the postseason I'd imagine that finishing in both of those spots would have seemed a stretch even to those that did believe.

While the Celtics did face some serious adversity this season, and thrived in spite of it, they did have one constant presence throughout the season that helped right the ship - head coach Brad Stevens. With the addition of Al Horford last offseason the Celtics were supposed to be better, but jumping from the 5th seed and a 1st round exit to the finish they had this year was quite a feat. Stevens is the calm, cool, and calculating presence on the Celtics sideline that helped prepare, guide, and motivate this team towards the upper echelon of the NBA from the cellar in just his 4th season.

One would think that taking this group as far as he did would at least get him nominated for the NBA's Coach of the Year award, but that wasn't the case. And Isaiah Thomas is none to pleased about it:



The nominees this year included a guy who is generally a perennial candidate and perhaps the best coach in basketball toady, Greg Popovich. The 2nd coach included was Mike D'Antoni who also took another team of overachievers from .500 last season to 55 wins in the vaunted Western Conference. Then you have Eric Spoelstra of the Miami Heat. He led his not-so0great team all way to the 9th seed, and while it might be impressive given the talent on his team I don't think we should be nominating coaches of teams who aren't even in the playoffs.

I didn't realize that coaching a bad team to .500 was more impressive than a team un-expectingly finishing with the first overall seed, my mistake. While I think both of the other candidates are well deserving give me a break with Spoelstra ahead of Stevens.


Related: Isaiah Thomas isn't worried about a contract extension, wants C's to add pieces

Photo Credit - GETTY Images

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 5/30/2017 02:27:00 PM Edit
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