Brad Stevens shares his philosophy on player development, importance of studying the game

The turnaround of the rebuilding Boston Celtics has been a pleasure to watch. In head coach Brad Stevens' short tenure, the Celtics have nearly doubled their regular-season win total from 25 in his first year, to 48 just this past season.

The make-up of this team now is very different from the 2013-14 squad that Stevens inherited. Most of the players added to his roster were afterthoughts on the teams they came from. Clearly Danny Ainge had some great foresight in acquiring talented players that were undervalued, but I think the development and usage of these players has a lot to do with the guy on the sideline.

Providence Journal columnist Scott Souza spoke with Brad Stevens at the Brayden’s Eyes Foundation Coaching Clinic at the University of Rhode Island last Friday about his coaching philosophy. Stevens stressed the importance of studying the game:

"Everyday I do it," He added, "“Every time you turn on a film in college, or the NBA, you learn something about what other coaches are doing. I don’t think you can ever stop growing and learning. I think it’s really important."

The discussion turned to young players, and how to know when a guy is ready to make an impact:

"I don’t define development as getting minutes. I watch what they do in the weight room every day. I watch what they do on the court every day. To me, that’s the enhancement and growth in your game. Then you play when you’re ready.”

He added, "You don't have to be Larry Bird the first time you play a game. But you have to prove you can add value to winning."

We've seen it time and time again with this Celtics team under Brad's tenure. Guys get on the floor when they are impacting the game in positive ways, in whatever capacity that might be; as long as they add value on the court.

Stevens is a mastermind when it comes to the Xs and Os of basketball, and obviously that is at the top of the list when you're looking for a head coach. However, it's the attention to details that separates a good floor general from the great ones. There's another coach in New England who has that kind of attention to detail, and he has four championships.

Photo Credit: Mark L Baer, USA TODAY Sports

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