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The Boston Celtics may be in line for a number of awards at the end of this season, but one seems already wrapped up. Exec of the Year, ROY, MVP, and MIP can be argued, but Brad Stevens as Coach of the Year right now seems rock solid. No one else is even close



The Celtics currently lead the League with an eleven-and-two record, for a .846 winning percentage. The Detroit Pistons, coached by Stan Van Gundy, are in second place in the East with a nine-and-three record. In the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets, Coached by Mike D'Antoni, are tied with the Steve Kerr-coached Golden State Warriors, Both teams have ten-and-three records.

A case could be made for Van Gundy. The Pistons are starting strong, mostly due to the stellar play of Andre Drummond who has finally learned how to hit free throws. D'Antoni won the award last year, and he could possibly be in the discussion. The Rockets have played well thus far without the services of Chris Paul. That is noteworthy.



Back to Brad. I define this man as Quiet Brilliance. We have all been with a group where one member hardly speaks, but when the utterances happen, they are gems. That is Stevens. Gordon Hayward goes down with a devastating injury in the very first game of the regular season. He was not only a starter, but a critical part of our Big Three. And remember, only four players returned from last year's group that went to the Eastern Conference Finals, the only starter returning being Al Horford.

Most of us felt Boston would would need a period of adjustment to integrate the new guys who constituted virtually the whole team. Well apparently, that adjustment period took two games, both losses. Despite significant injuries to Al Horford and Kyrie Irving, the Celtics are winning at an 84.6% clip.

And it is not all about the numbers. Brad Stevens has his guys playing switching defense that is a model for the rest of the NBA. His out-of-bounds plays after time-outs usually end up with positive results. Like Red Auerbach, he coaches men, not simply basketball players. He seems to view the court and what is occurring (or about to occur) like few others. Bias and favoritism do come into play when the COY votes are cast by basketball journalists, but it is going to be extremely tough for any of them to ignore Brad Stevens. I believe the votes are overdue.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff File

Tom Lane 11/12/2017 05:03:00 AM Edit
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