Brad Stevens on the precipice of losing as many games this season as he did in his first six at Butler

Boston Celtic coach Brad Stevens has had an amazingly successful coaching career thus far in his life. While at Butler, in his first six season, Stevens led the tiny Indiana school to a 166 win and 49 loss record and was within a Gordon Hayward half court shot of upsetting college basketball behemoth Duke for the 2010 National Championship.

His overall record while at Butler was 166-49.

The Boston Celtics team he helms this season has a record of 23-48 and will most likely receive their 49th loss tonight.

As always, however, according to Baxter Holmes at the Boston Globe, Stevens is focusing more on the positives:
“Having that focus is helpful whether you’re winning or losing,” he said, “because it kind of takes your emphasis, or overemphasis, away from the result.”

From the outset, Celtics management stressed patience, knowing it would take time to turn around a team that essentially was starting from scratch.

The Celtics gave Stevens a six-year contract as proof of that patience, which gave him the luxury of not worrying about job security even when the losses piled up.

Stevens does admit though, as the losses mount, it does take a toll emotionally:
“Hey, there’s no way that I’ve been even close to what I want to be this year, and that bothers me,” he said. “I look at each single game that way and that’s the way I’m going to evaluate myself and my performance all the time.”

Does he cut himself any slack, knowing he’s new, that he’s working with a patchwork roster, that Rajon Rondo, his best player, was out for half the season? Of course not.

“You’ve got to push yourself,” he said.

Did he, at any time, accept that losses were inevitable? Of course not.

“I don’t look at it as, you ever accept anything less than getting to your ultimate,” he said.

On any night that he or his team falls short, Stevens is unhappy. His postgame comments might not show it, as he is measured in his remarks, but the disappointment is evident on the face of a man who despises defeat in any form.

In many respects what Stevens is going through is what many NBA players who have been stars and won all their lives experience coming to the NBA.

This is either a result of being on a losing team or far down the depth chart and not receiving their accustomed playing time.

Stevens will try to put that 49th loss at bay for another day tonight as the Celtics complete a home and home against the Raptors in Toronto.

Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey