Brad Stevens predicts Celtics will have a top 30 defense this year

It was the recently deceased Yogi Berra who once said "it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future".

But some men are ready to stand on that ledge of uncertainty with confidence.

Once such man is Brad Stevens.

After an animated display of aggressive defense in practice featuring strong showings by both Jae Crowder and newcomer Amir Johnson, Coach Stevens was pressed for his assessment of the team's defense abilities.

According to the article by Chris Forsberg of ESPN, the coach responded with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

I said it the other day -- it’s going to be a canned answer -- somewhere in the top 30," Stevens quipped. "If we play well, we’ll have a chance to be higher. If we don’t, if we take shortcuts, we won’t be in the top 20. If we play really hard and really focused than the sky is the limit.

So as many have said, perhaps including Yogi Berra, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink".

To put in NBA basketball terms, you can collect the right players, but you can't manufacture results.

Without fireworks, Danny Ainge has led some horses to the water.

Now let's see if they drink.

AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

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