Stevens already grilling James Young for his defense


Since being cleared for full contact after sustaining a mild concussion in a June car accident, Young has been at the Celtics practice facility working to strengthen both his body and his game for this upcoming season.

And yes, a little face-to-face time with coach Brad Stevens - you know, the man who'll determine just how much if at all Young will play - can't hurt, either.

One of the youngest players in this year's draft, Young should benefit to some degree from being coached by Stevens, whose coaching career has been at the college level minus last season as the Celtics' head coach.

Just like John Calipari challenged Young to continue improving in his lone season at Kentucky, the 6-foot-7 guard/forward is finding it's not all that different with the Celtics and Stevens.

"Coach Stevens has really been on me about defense," Young told CSNNE. "That's how coach Cal was, too."

Because of Young's 7-foot wing span, his potential as a solid defender is clear which can only increase the chances of him seeing time on the floor sooner rather than later.

I think it's a pretty safe bet that the Celtics are constructing their new identity around defense. They re-signed arguably their most dynamic defender Avery Bradley, they drafted a relentless defender in Marcus Smart at No. 6, and Brad Stevens is drilling and grilling James Young, an offensive threat out of Kentucky, on defense.

Probably not a bad strategy since most of the elite teams in the East don't play defense at all.

James Young is a boat similar to the one AB was in a few years ago in that he'll probably be splitting time between Boston and Maine this season. If he can keep his offensive edge while also keeping up with the defensive-minded positionless basketball system that Stevens is honing with the Celtics, I expect him to work his way into the rotation this year.