Celtics need a Coaching Change
Updated: Feb 6, 2021
Brad Stevens is a decent coach. He was good for the Celtics his first few years here. I’ve always said, get him in a small market with an average roster and he’ll get the most out of them. He’ll probably even get them to the playoffs. Hell, he took two average Celtics team to the playoffs in 2015 and 2016. But once the Celtics started adding legit NBA stars and became one of the better teams in the NBA, Stevens has hurt the team more than he’s helped them. At this point i believe it’s pretty clear that Stevens isn’t the coach to get the Celtics over the top.
(Note: I’m a football guy at heart so you will find that I use a lot of football analogies and comparisons when talking about other sports.)
It reminds me of the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tony Dungy was a decent coach, even ended up winning a Super Bowl himself years later but he took the 1999-2001 Buccaneers to the playoffs 3 years in a row but couldn’t get the team over the top. The Buccaneers ended up firing a winning/playoff coach and brought in Jon Gruden, a coach with a similar track record but a much different mentality. The fresh voice in the locker room and new, more demanding system on the field ended up bringing a championship to Tampa Bay and I think that’s exactly what the Celtics need right now.
I’m not saying go get Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich, I honestly don’t think you need an elite coach. In my 2002 Buccaneers analogy, Jon Gruden wasn’t the best coach in the NFL but he was a good coach who brought with him a mentality that the Buccaneers needed to get over the top. Again, that’s what the Celtics need right now. A different voice, a different mentality.
Brad Stevens has always been known for his X’s and O’s. You could argue he’s overrated in that department but nonetheless that’s what he’s known for. What he struggles with is motivating people and communication. He bring zero intensity, he doesn’t demand excellence-he’s happy with effort. This mentality might work in the NCAA and with average NBA teams just trying to make the playoffs but it doesn’t work when you have a talent-ladened roster looking to win a championship.
The Celtics have two young stars on their roster in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Right now I see them as elite talents who don’t know how to win. At this point they don’t need a coach who can draw them up a play on his whiteboard. They need a coach who can teach them how to win. They need a coach that can motivate them, teach them how to be smarter, more efficient players on the floor. Drawing up pick and rolls will only get you so far in the NBA and we’re at that point with Brad Stevens. It’s time for the Celtics to make a change.