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Brad Stevens is being patient with his starting unit. Al Horford and Jayson Tatum have looked fine, but Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown have struggled. This is what played out early-on against the Thunder. Al and Jayson were clicking, but Kyrie, Gordon and Jaylen looked tentative and disjointed.


Brad gave his take on the first half with the following statements:

We're going to have to knock down some of those deep ones and loosen up on our drives.

You just need a switch to go off in their minds. That's all it takes!

Stevens is both a savant and fortune teller because all of that happened in the second half. Everything changed. It started with Gordon's 3-pointer in the first 20 seconds of the second half. Then a driving slam by Tatum. The Celtics were driving to the hoop and making most of their three-pointers. The switch had gone off.


Jaylen got an offensive board - drove to the hoop - got fouled - and made both free throws. Al was amazing. He hit three 3-pointers in the mere span of 41 seconds! Irving's drive and layup with less than a minute left in the game tied things at 95-95, and Marcus Morris sealed the 101-95 Celtics win with a neat 3-pointer.

Horford was the star on the floor with 19 points, nine boards, two assists, one steal and one block. But the real star was the coach, Brad Stevens. His quotes, seen above, were right on. When the long-distance stuff isn't falling, start driving to the hoop. He knew that.


Brad is being patient with his starting-five because he knows they will come together in the near-future. He doesn't discourage the three-pointers because he knows he has some great shooters, and those distance shots will fall eventually - and they did. It just takes that switch to go off in his guys' heads. I suspect that when Brad picked up that technical with his team behind 83-86, he knew his team needed a little extra wattage. That worked too. Final score - 101-95, and the Celtics prevailed.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC and Facebook

Poto via Maddie Meyer/Getty Images



Tom Lane 10/26/2018 06:54:00 AM Edit
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