After Thursday night’s 117-109 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Boston Celtics have now clinched a playoff spot for a fourth straight year.
Kyrie Irving and the Celtics will be looking to make a deep playoff run under the guidance of head coach Brad Stevens.
Since Stevens’ arrival to Boston in 2013, he’s now seen his Celtics team make the playoffs in four out of his five seasons with the team. And the Celtics have seen their win totals increase in every year since then.
Last season the C’s hustled their way through the NBA Playoffs, making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before eventually losing to LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.
And in the two seasons before that, Stevens led the C’s to back-to-back playoff appearances, in which they were one-and-done.
The only season a Stevens led Celtics team didn’t make the playoffs was in his first year as head coach.
And we all remember how nasty that Celtics team was, right? They were led by the likes of Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Kelly Olynyk. And we can’t forget Jared Sullinger!
Right now the four-time ‘Eastern Conference Coach of the Month’ is on pace to finish the year with his best record as a head coach of the C’s.
The Celtics are sitting at 46-20, with 16 games to play. If Stevens can get a win in at least half of the C’s remaining game, he’ll exceed his highest win total (53) for a single season as a professional head coach.
Last season the C’s won 53 games, which was five wins better than the 2015-2016 season.
Over Stevens’ time with the Celtics, he’s seen an increase in wins from each of the previous seasons. From the time he arrived in 2013, his win totals have increased by fifteen, eight, and five.
2014-2015: 40-42 (+15)
2015-2016: 48-34 (+8)
2016-2017: 48-34 (+5)
2017-2018: 46-20 (+ TBD)
The C’s are certainly trending in the right direction under Brad Stevens. Sure some might credit his increase in wins to the additions of All-Stars Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and Kyrie Irving. But you can’t discredit his coaching abilities and knowledge of the game.
One thing is for sure. Stevens has helped to turn around a Celtics team that was treading water and was on the verge of stinking up the TD Garden for seasons to come.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (45-20) play the first of a two-game homestand on Sunday night against the Indiana Pacers (37-28). Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.