Brad Stevens on Zolak & Bertrand: I’ll give the Celtics a chance to play better before making major changes
The Boston Celtics are 7-6 and clearly not playing as well as they should be, considering their wealth of talent atop the roster. Brad Stevens admits he’s not coaching his best, either. It’s led to all kinds of criticism and calls for shake-ups and adjustments.
Stevens tells 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand that those adjustments will come – but not before they start playing like they’re capable of playing in the first place.
Speaking in his weekly call on Wednesday, Stevens said there will be no changes to the starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden. Barring a last-minute injury or something unforeseen to this point, Stevens prefers to wait for his lineup to improve as currently constituted before doing anything drastic.
“I’m going to let us have a chance to play better,” said Stevens. “I think that’s where we are. Hopefully I’ll coach better, and we’ll play better, and we’ll get more out of the guys the way we’ve been playing, with a few small tweaks in how we rotate instead of necessarily when we sub.”
Stevens also admitted that he hasn’t quite figured everything out as far as how to deploy his roster and run the team on the court, and the team won’t play its best basketball until it reaches that point. But at the same time, he’s not getting the most out of the guys that are on the floor, regardless of who’s playing with who.
“When you’re coaching a team, the sooner you can get to not having to figure out rotations as much, and not having to figure out who plays best together, and how things fit, and you just start coaching basketball – and you’re coaching the technical parts of the game – that’s when you can really roll,” said Stevens. “But until then, I think the role of a coach is to find the best of everyone, and we’re not getting that. And that’s on me.”
Stevens was asked about the possibility of Gordon Hayward moving to the bench, which he told the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn he will do if that’s what the coach feels is necessary. But in sticking with his overall theme, Stevens can’t figure out his best combinations without getting the most out of his players to begin with. Until they show the kind of urgency they’ve shown when they’re down 20-plus points, the coach will have trouble knowing what changes he should implement.
“It’s hard to tell what adjustments we need to make until we play the right way,” said Stevens. “You can see when we’re really urgent and we’re playing the right way, we’re pretty good. We just need to increase our urgency. That’s the bottom line of it. Then we’ll figure out what our rotations need to be. But obviously, you’re always thinking about those changes.”
Listen above for the full interview with Brad Stevens on Zolak & Bertrand!
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