Celtics head coach Brad Stevens joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Thursday, as the team continues to slide heading into the All-Star break. Stevens discussed the C’s three-game losing streak, and what they need to do to climb out of the hole they’re in.
“Listen, we know we’re under[performing] – we feel like we’re underperforming. We feel like we can do better,” Stevens remarked. “[The players] are getting beaten up. We’re all getting beaten up enough that I think it’s important for those of us in the room to be very even keel in our approach right now.”
For Stevens, that approach begins with raising the level of confidence up and down the roster. “Our players are hurting, right? They don’t want to play like this. They don’t want to feel like this. They are competitive guys,” he said, noting they can tap into that fire to turn things around. “Nobody necessarily wants to be in this position. And we’re not in a position where it’s not retrievable. It’s a position where we can play better and give ourselves a chance to still be very relevant when it’s all said and done. I think that’s the number one thing.”
“I’m going to wrap my arm around these guys and I’m going to help them feel great about themselves so that when we get this thing turned around, we can score with some confidence and soar with our strengths,” Stevens continued.
Stevens was also asked about a section of the fanbase calling for his job. In the midst of a stretch where the Celtics have lost eight of their last 11 games, his seat is as hot as it’s been in his time in Boston.
“Obviously, you don’t you don’t feel good when you hear that sentiment,” Stevens noted. However, he’s not going to let outside noise change how he goes about his job. “I don’t think it’s ever been what I would consider to be something I’d be all that concerned about…It means a lot to me to do my best for this fan base and for the Celtics and the people that I work with and work for. And I’m going to do that. And that’s what I’ve tried to do all along. I think that’s all you can do.”
One of the biggest critiques from the fan base about Stevens has been his perceived last of intensity or emotion. Stevens said that not a completely unfair assessment, but one that leaves out a lot of context.
“Your job is to coach the team to the best of your ability. And I think the number one way to do that is authentically,” he explained. “There are times, obviously, where I certainly will lose it and have certainly lost it, whether it’s in the locker room, whether it’s in practice, whether it’s in pregame, whatever the case may be. But by and large, I think it’s very important to be measured and to be myself.”
“I had a root canal and my identity stolen last week, and I think those were like two of my better days in the last eight days,” Stevens joked saying somebody tried to open up, among other things, a Target card in his name. “It’s just been what it is.”
You can hear the full conversations with Brad Stevens below:
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Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.