After a 10 game absence, it appears the Celtics will finally have Marcus Smart back in the lineup on Wednesday when they take on the Pistons in Boston. Smart has been recovering from a severe left ankle sprain that occurred at home against the Pacers on Nov. 7.

“Indications are that he will be available to play,” Stevens said of the rookie prior to tip-off.

So how much will Smart be available to play on Wednesday?

“Well, I don’t know,” Stevens replied. “Just because he hasn’t even practiced, really, with us. It’s hard to tell. He probably won’t play quite as much, he could be on a little bit of a minutes [restriction]. So, [it’s] hard to tell. I think we need what he brings on a normal basis, so hopefully he’s able to do that.”

In the five games Smart did play in for the C’s (including the game he got injured during), he averaged 6.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals. Although he struggled mightily with his shooting, Smart’s best quality had been his defensive intensity. Stevens will be counting on Smart bringing the same intensity in his return on Wednesday.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

One night after blowing a 23-point lead in suffering their fifth straight loss, the Celtics return home in hopes of snapping their streak of futility. In this instance, Boston (4-11) will host a team with even fewer wins (the three-win Pistons) in an effort to right the ship, and will offer full coverage and analysis from TD Garden. For all the latest, follow along with the live blog, below.

Live Blog Celtics vs. Pistons live blog

Blog Author: 

Last year, in the first season of the Celtics‘ post-Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett rebuild, we expected them to stumble to one of the league’s worst records. They did just that, ending up with a record of 25-57. No big deal. We all saw it coming and knew the results would be tough. But 15 games into last season the C’s held a record of 5-10 — all games in which Rajon Rondo did not play. That’s not bad.

This year was expected to be different. Rondo would be beginning the season with the team, Danny Ainge used the No. 6 pick in the draft on the promising Marcus Smart, and the rest of the youngsters had another year of experience under their belts. That young core included Brad Stevens, who arguably had as much learning to do as any player on his roster in his first go-round as an NBA head coach.

Despite all of the positive signs heading into the season, it has not been any different. In fact, it has been worse. The Celtics have a record of 4-11 after 15 games — that’s bad. Their loss to the Hawks on Tuesday night was the fifth time this season that the C’s have blown a lead of 15 or more points and lost the game. Growing an enormous first-half lead and then losing the game has become routine for these Celtics, especially on their home floor.

In ways it’s depressing that after opening up a 23-point lead in Atlanta the expectation was that they would find a way to lose, but those who saw it coming were right. The reason is their fourth-quarter execution, as they rank last in the league in fourth-quarter scoring. Stevens knows that the C’s will continue to produce disappointing results until his team does something about it.

“The game honors the more physical team,” Stevens said following the loss. “It does night in and night out. We’ve just got to improve in that area.”

He later concluded: “I’m not crazy enough to think that if [the physicality] doesn’t change, we’ll be sitting up here a lot like this.”

The fourth-quarter numbers have been well documented at this point, but it seems laughable that the Celtics haven’t even gotten lucky and been able to close out any of these games. The main problem in the fourth quarter has been the apparent disconnect between Rondo and his teammates during crunch time.

Rondo had a masterful game on Tuesday in some ways. He racked up 19 assists and 12 rebounds. But why was this not enough to win?

Well, because he shot 1-for-8 with just two points and seven turnovers. Rondo is the leader of this team. His coach will tell you that, his teammates will tell you that and Rondo himself will tell you that. And no matter how much Rondo continues to stuff the stat sheet with impressive numbers, it will mean nothing until he can carry his team in crunch time.

Rondo is no dummy, though. Actually, he is quite the contrary. He is smart enough to identify the problems and knows it starts with him.

“I think we’re beating ourselves,” the point guard said after Tuesday’s collapse. “I take a lot of responsibility. I can’t shoot 1-for-8 and I can’t have seven turnovers. I’ve got to do a better job out there being efficient.”

Efficient is one thing, clutch is another. Many winnable games this year have ended with the ball in Rondo’s hands. The one-point loss to the Cavaliers literally ended with the ball in Rondo’s hands as he failed to even force up a shot before the final buzzer.

The bottom line is this: We don’t need any numbers to tell us that Rondo has not been efficient or clutch late in games (although his 30 percent free throw shooting needs mention in some fashion, so here it is). It’s not completely his fault. His teammates need to know his skill set and get themselves into positions where Rondo can find them for easy baskets. But instead, they watch their leader and expect him to take the big shots. But can we totally blame them? There’s no other team in the league that goes away from its best player on the final possession of the game.

Ainge said before the season that he expects Rondo to have a career year. If he was talking about Rondo’s rebounding or assist numbers he may be right. But as far as leading his team, Rondo needs to step up soon, or Ainge needs to find someone who will.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

Follow Sam Packard on Twitter @SPackGuy.

In the NBA, the worst place to be is the middle of the pack. If you are not contending for a championship or tanking, in my mind, you are not relevant. Because of this, each week I will rank the top five and bottom five teams in the league. The rankings are based entirely on my own observations and opinions, so please feel free to call me names in the comments section.

NOTE: Until the 76ers win a game, they will not be discussed. 


1. Warriors

Steph Curry is an early MVP candidate. Draymond Green is playing phenomenally and is lock to win The Best Draymond in the League Award.

Stay tuned for “Chef Curry” remix. She is about to spit Hot ð¥ #lastshmoneydanceforme

A video posted by Wardell Curry (@wardell30) on

2. Grizzlies

This season Marc Gasol taught us that losing a bunch of weight and being in tremendous shape is beneficial for a basketball player. Who knew? Thanks, Marc Gasol! Keep taking those sky hooks.

 3. Spurs

Coach Pop actually had the stones to sit Tony Parker and Tom Duncan against Philly, then spend the entire postgame praising the 76ers. Tell him, Marlo.

4. Raptors

From the replay, it was very difficult to discern how exactly DeMar DeRozan tore his groin. In this respect, remarkably similar to Nomar Garciaparra‘s groin tear in 2005 with the Cubs. DeRozan isn’t chock full of steroids, so this injury is even more inexplicable.

The Raptors have excellent depth, and I expect them to weather the storm, but the Raptors need home court if they are going to make a deep playoff run. The longer DeRozan is out, the bigger the problem for the Drakes.

5. Trail Blazers
Prior to Tuesday night, Wesley Mathews had made at least six 3-pointers in his last three games, tying an NBA record. More importantly, with the Trail Blazers playing well, people have finally jumped on the Side Show Bob/ Robin Lopez bandwagon. Here is a nice GIF of Robin killing it from the bench.


6. Celtics

This may be an overreaction to Tuesday night’s loss to the Hawks, but this team has serious problems. Like an amateur porn star, the Celtics just don’t know how to finish. After an extremely tough early schedule, the C’s finally get a chance to play some of the crappy teams in the Eastern Conference, and if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs they need to climb back to .500 and go 7-2 over their next nine games. I suggest the players just relax, closes their eyes and let the win come to them.

5. Knicks

Meet Dennis Doyle, the sorry sun of a gun who left his job at a small law firm to attend all 82 Knicks games this season. While I appreciate Doyle’s decision to disregard all social norms in the pursuit of a half-baked idea, his blog quickly turned from a wacky and fun project to a extensive case study on human suffering. I just hope after witnessing a full season of J.R. Smith, Doyle gets to meet the team’s drug connect, because he is going to need all the MDMA he can afford for the inevitable PTSD.

P.S. This is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.

P.P.S. Does anyone still think Rondo is going to end up signing with this pile of hot garbage in the offseason?

4. Hornets

According to NBA Savant Zach Lowe, the Lance Stephenson signing isn’t exactly working out. I think part of the problem is there has never been a successful Lance. Armstrong used steroids, Bass was clearly the fifth banana, and Berkman always struck me as fat and ugly. The only Lance I can remember liking is Allen Payne’s short-lived character from the dreadful Cousin Pam era of “The Cosby Show.” Rather than trading Stephenson for cents on the dollar, the Hornets should just consider a simple name change. I would suggest something alliterative, maybe Sam, Seymour or even Stephen. Yeaaah. Stephen Stephenson, that’s the name of a winner.

3. Lakers

A perfect metaphor for Kobe Bryant‘s season. No matter how hard he tries, he is just going to end up surrounded by junk.

2. Pistons

With an astounding amount of talent on the roster, the Pistons are approaching a 76ers level of ineptitude. I don’t even want to write about them. With that being said, it’s almost guaranteed they storm into the Garden on Wednesday night and beat the Celtics.

1. 76ers

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Evidently, there is no lead too big for the Celtics to bungle.

After the Celtics raced out to a 42-point first quarter and 16-point lead at the half, the Celtics were outscored by a staggering 20 points in the second half in suffering 109-105 loss. The Celtics have now lost five straight and eight of nine, falling to 4-11 on the year.

Rajon Rondo delivered 19 assists but turned the ball over seven times in the Celtics' loss on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Rajon Rondo delivered 19 assists but turned the ball over seven times in the Celtics‘ loss on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Evidently, there is no lead too big for the Celtics to bungle.

After the Celtics raced out to a 42-point first quarter and 16-point lead at the half, the Celtics were outscored by a staggering 20 points in the second half in suffering 109-105 loss. The Celtics have now lost five straight and eight of nine, falling to 4-11 on the year.

The team’s game-ending woes are becoming an ongoing theme. The team entered the night being outscored by 4.6 points a night in the second half (third worst in the NBA) and 5.4 points per game in the fourth quarter (worst in the NBA). In this case, the team was outscored by 20 in the second half and nine in the fourth quarter.

Boston once again offered little defensive resistance in the 59-point second-half eruption. The Celtics’ average yield of 107.7 points per game remains the worst total in the Eastern League.

The Hawks shot 52 percent from the floor, with Kyle Korver (8-of-9, 6-of-7 on 3-pointers) leading the way en route to 24 points and Paul Millsap filling the box score with 19 points, six boards, seven assists, three blocks and three steals. The Celtics received 25-point nights from both Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green.

Rajon Rondo had a game that was alternately brilliant and sloppy, scoring just two points (1-for-8 from the floor) and committing seven turnovers (two shy of his career worst), but he grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 19 assists, his career high for a road game.

Click here for the box score.

Blog Author: 

Let’s face it: This is the season of Rajon Rondo. As interesting as it is to evaluate the frontcourt progress of Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley‘s offensive potential and Jeff Green‘s surprising consistency, the biggest questions the Celtics must answer all involve Rondo. Just how good is he? Will he be traded? What can they get in return? In a weekly feature on Green Street, we’ll take stock of the Celtics captain’s status every Tuesday.


Since last we evaluated Rondo’s status this season, the Celtics have won just once in five attempts, and that victory came against the winless 76ers. Because they play in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics (4-10) remain only 1.5 games out of the eighth seed through 14 games, but their 1-9 record against teams with winning records isn’t too encouraging for those holding out hope for the C’s playoff prospects.

Over the past five games, Rondo has averaged 8.8 assists, 7.2 points and 5.8 rebounds, so his overall numbers have dipped, even if he’s still the only NBA player currently averaging at least seven points, seven assists and seven rebounds. He remains the league’s leader in assists, passes and assist opportunities per game as well as points created by assists per 48 minutes, according to

The Celtics point guard has always been a different breed of basketball player, capable of controlling games as a facilitator, but at what point does his inability to score become a problem? His current status as the worst free-throw shooting guard in NBA history has been well documented, but Rondo’s offensive woes go well beyond the charity stripe. He has attempted more field goals than he’s scored points in seven of his 12 appearances, netting single digits on eight occasions and scoring six or fewer points four times this season. Meanwhile, the C’s  dropped from a top-five offense through two weeks of 2014-15 to 17th in offensive rating (106.1 points per 100 possessions) a month into the season.

When you combine Rondo’s 13.7 points scored per 48 minutes (PTS/48) and 36.1 points created by assists per 48 minutes (PTSC/48), the four-time All-Star is still generating 49.8 total points per 48 minutes (PTSG/48). If that seems like a lot, it’s because it is. Of the league’s 30 starting point guards, 20  have generated more than 40 points per 48 minutes, and Rondo ranks ninth among that group. Obviously, a player’s points created by assists depend on his teammates, but the list shakes out how you might expect.

Russell Westbrook (3 games): 53.0 PTS/48 + 25.4 PTS/48 = 78.4 PTSG/48
Stephen Curry (16 games): 35.2 PTS/48 + 26.1 PTS/48 = 61.3 PTSG/48
Ricky Rubio (5 games): 15.6 PTS/48 + 39.8 PTS/48 = 55.4 PTSG/48
John Wall (16 games): 24.6 PTS/48 + 29.8 PTS/48 = 54.4 PTSG/48
Chris Paul (17 games): 24.7 PTS/48 + 29.6 PTS/48 = 54.3 PTSG/48
Ty Lawson: 21.7 PTS/48 + 32.0 PTS/48 = 53.7 PTSG/48
Jeff Teague (15 games): 26.9 PTS/48 + 25.7 PTS/48 = 52.6 PTSG/48
Derrick Rose (9 games): 30.5 PTS/48 + 19.6 PTS/48 = 50.1 PTSG/48
Rajon Rondo: 13.7 PTS/48 + 36.1 PTS/48 = 49.8
Kyle Lowry (17 games): 27.2 PTS/48 + 22.0 PTS/48 = 49.2 PTSG/48
Damian Lillard (17 games): 27.3 PTS/48 + 21.6 PTS/48 = 48.9 PTSG/48
Brandon Jennings (14 games): 26.8 PTS/48 + 21.5 PTS/48 = 48.3 PTSG/48
Tony Parker (16 games): 25.5 PTS/48 + 20.6 PTS/48 = 46.1 PTSG/48
Michael Carter-Williams (10 games): 24.6 PTS/48 + 21.5 PTS/48 = 46.1 PTSG/48
Mike Conley (17 games): 24.2 PTS/48 + 20.5 PTS/48 = 44.7 PTSG/48
Brandon Knight (18 games): 25.0 PTS/48 + 19.3 PTS/48 = 44.3 PTSG/48
Deron Williams (15 games): 23.0 PTS/48 + 19.3 PTS/48 = 42.3 PTSG/48
Jrue Holiday (15 games): 21.9 PTS/48 + 19.8 PTS/48 = 41.7 PTSG/48
Kyrie Irving (15 games): 27.0 PTS/48 + 14.4 PTS/48 = 41.4 PTSG/48
Darren Collison (14 games): 21.5 PTS/48 + 19.1 PTS/48 = 40.6 PTSG/48

That’s about where Rondo should fall on the NBA’s point guard rankings this season. You’d probably take Rondo over a couple who have generated more points per 48 minutes this season (Rubio, Teague), but you might also consider a handful who rank below him on this list. Lowry, Lillard and Parker are a few that come to mind. Of course, offense isn’t the only factor in rating a point guard, but defense hasn’t helped Rondo’s cause, either. The Celtics rank 27th in defensive rating this season, allowing 110.4 points per 100 possessions, and that number is slightly worse with Rondo on the court (110.9), according to Basketball Reference.

Based on his production this season, the overall conversation about the Celtics captain is shifting from, “Is Rondo a top-five point guard?” to, “Is Rondo a top-10 point guard?” And that’s a concern.

Value: Descending

It's time now to ask the Magic 9-Ball.

It’s time now to ask the Magic 9-Ball.


If the Celtics were interested in trading Rondo, team president Danny Ainge might look to the 10 teams with a point guard generating more than 40 points per 48 minutes for a deal: the Hornets, Mavericks, Rockets, Pacers, Lakers, Heat, Knicks, Magic, Suns and Jazz. Among that group, Houston probably has the most to gain from adding a former All-NBA distributor.

Currently in possession of the Western Conference’s No. 4 seed despite the absences of Dwight Howard (knee), Terrence Jones (leg) and Patrick Beverly (hamstring) for a combined 30 games, the Rockets have started either Isaiah Canaan or Jason Terry and relied upon James Harden to do most of the facilitating. Rondo’s pass-first instincts could potentially pair well with Harden’s scoring load, Howard’s interior presence and Trevor Ariza’s spot-up shooting stroke, creating a title contender in Houston.

In the absence of Jones, European imports Donatas Motiejunas (8.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 25.2 minutes a night) and Kostas Papanikolaou (6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 25.5 minutes a night) have proven productive players. Rockets GM Daryl Morey also has New Orleans’ 2015 first-round pick (so long as it falls between 4-19), his own first-round selections the following few seasons, his top pick this past June — 20-year-old Swiss center Clint Capela — and an $8.4 million trade exception.

While a package of Beverley, Papanikolaou, Jason Terry‘s expiring contract and a couple first-round picks is the kind of four-quarters-for-a-dollar trade the Celtics front office detests, both Morey and Ainge are creative enough to get other teams involved. Beverley, for example, might be attractive to a third team in need of All-Defensive help in the backcourt.

Idea: Not the brightest


If we realize Rondo ranks on the lower end of the league’s top-10 point guards, and the difference between him and the NBA’s best floor general is greater than the split between him and the No. 20 distributor on that list, then we must consider the Celtics star will command nowhere near a maximum contract this summer. That understanding could benefit the C’s should they re-sign him.

It could also benefit any potential trade partners, since any team acquiring Rondo may not have to carve out as much cap space to keep him beyond the remainder of this season. Still, the realization that two-thirds of the league already features a point guard capable of creating better than 80 percent of Rondo’s offense severely limits the market for his services. In some respects, Rondo’s fall from the current list of top-five NBA point guards might actually mean there’s a better chance he stays in Boston.

Odds: 50-1

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Despite the popular belief that this season’s Celtics team has to be better than last year’s laughable team, Boston holds a record of just 4-10 after 14 games. You could make the argument that they have played a tough schedule in its first 14 games, but they also sat 4-10 last season, and that was without Rajon Rondo playing in any of those games.

Sunday’s loss to the Spurs was just another collapse at home — one of seven games the Celtics have let slip away in the fourth quarter on their home parquet. The losses are getting so bad that it convinced Celtics color commentator and former player/coach Tommy Heinsohn to go into the locker room and have his voice heard.

When media was allowed to enter the locker room following the game, Heinsohn was already perched over by Rondo’s locker. The two seemed to talk for around 15 minutes, mostly Heinsohn speaking to Rondo, who would nod and acknowledge the advice he was being given. Although not alarming, this isn’t something that would normally happen following a Celtics’ loss, or any game for that matter.

“Just keep chugging away at it,” Rondo said was the advice of the Celtic legend. “He shared his thoughts, I shared my thoughts as well. Tommy is a guy I’ve been talking to since day one. He’s been a big fan of mine and I believe in what he’s done here in the past. He’s coached, he’s played, he’s done it all. So anytime a guy like Tommy has advice, or wants to share something with me, I always try to listen.”

“He’s the biggest supporter here,” Rondo went on to share on the value of Heinsohn’s words. “He’s here every night, every home game, and he’s rooting for us. He wants the best for our team and he had some great advice for me. So I’m going to take that and share it with my guys, and try and figure some things out.”

Heinsohn may come off as a bit crazy as a broadcaster in his later years, but don’t forget that this is the same guy that won eight titles as a player and two more as a head coach. Heinsohn’s passion for the Celtics is genuine, as was his advice for Rondo. What Rondo and the C’s can do with that advice is another story.

Being compared to the 2013-14 Celtics is nothing that Rondo wants for his team long-term. However, last year’s team was able to improve to 5-10 by getting a road win in Atlanta, and this year’s squad will have a shot to do the same as with Tuesday night the Celtics taking on the Hawks in Atlanta.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

In case you missed it this earlier because you were busy working, getting your kids or school or doing any of those things people who don’t cold-cock their spouses in elevators do every morning, Ray Rice‘s wife/lover/best friend/beating victim Janay was on the “Today” show talking to Matt Lauer about the events surrounding that sickening press conference she and Ray gave back in May. It shouldn’t shock you to learn that on the Ravens Bad News Scale, between 0 and “Your Franchise Player Was Involved in a Double Homicide,” this interview was about a 9. Here are the most damning parts:

Lauer: Did you want to be a part of that press conference?

Janay: I was ready to do anything that was going to help the situation.

Lauer: When you say, “Help the situation.” Help Ray and his career?

Janay: Both. Help the way we looked in the media. Help his image. Help, obviously, his career. So they told us earlier that week that we would do the press conference, and I was fine with it.

Lauer: And did anyone at the Ravens say, “Janay, it would be really good if you issued some kind of apology.”

Janay: They suggested it, yes.

Lauer: Did they come up with the wording?

Janay: No, not specifically. They basically gave us a general script.

Lauer: Had it not been for the Ravens urging you, or suggesting, you apologize, you would have not been at that press conference and you would have never apologized.

Janay: No.

So there you have it. Back in May it was obvious to anyone with an ounce of brains and milligram of humanity that the Ravens forced Janay Rice to be part of that despicable dog and pony show. But if you were one of the few holdouts (I’m looking at you, Roger Goodell) here’s your proof.

They carted her out there like the wife in a Lifetime original movie and told her to say everything just short of “My eye? Oh, I walked into a door. Silly me, I’m such a klutz!” And yet weirdly, the Ravens organization still is completely unanswerable for this.

I mean, outlets like Time magazine have taken the time to rip Tom Brady for going on Dennis & Callahan and declining to comment on Ray Rice and hinted the Patriots organization won’t speak out because it might sign Rice someday. But the actual team that actually employed this monster and put words in Janay’s mouth? It gets a free pass. Just like it did with Ray Lewis. Just like it did with Terrell Suggs, who beat his wife much more severely, only not on video.

You know, I get accused a lot of being a shameless Patriots suck-up. It’s been said in print. On the air. I’ve gotten it from callers. It’s on my Tinder profile. I’ve defended the way they’ve handled guys with arrest records like Aaron Hernandez, Alfonzo Dennard and Aqib Talib, and I stand by every word. Because this is what much of the rest of the NFL is like: A wretched hive of scum and villainy who’ll bully a beating victim into playing along if it’ll help keep their running back on the field. At the time of that presser, I just thought the Ravens organization had no morals. After hearing this in Janay Rice’s own words, I think the team should be indicted under RICO.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

The defending champions came into Boston on Sunday and blew the doors off of the struggling, young Celtics. The Spurs scored 66 points in the second half en route to a 22-point victory after the C’s led by four points at the break. It was a dominant performance, and Brad Stevens took notice.

“I told the guys in the locker room, it’s probably the best basketball team that I’ve seen in my adult lifetime, as far as how they’re coached, how they play, their understanding, their roles,” the Celtics coach said. “And you can hear them walking back in their locker room. There’s a reason they’re really good. They’ve built a bond and a trust that is very special.”

Stevens has admired the Spurs since he joined the league following the Spurs’ Game 7 loss to the Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals. He often spoke of them as a model of success, and then even more so after the Spurs were able to dethrone the Heat in convincing fashion in 2014. During draft workouts and summer league practices in Waltham this past offseason, Stevens seemingly was obsessed with finding anything he could steal from Gregg Popovich to incorporate into success for the Celtics.

The 38-year-old Stevens even reached out to the 65-year-old Popovich to pick his brain — something the Spurs coach was asked about before Sunday’s game.

“He didn’t find much,” Popovich offered (with his typical smirk while speaking with media members).

“It’s both flattering and embarrassing [that Stevens looks up to the Spurs], in a way,” Popovich added. “We’ve been so fortunate over the years with the people we’ve had. As I’ve said often, who wouldn’t want to follow David [Robinson] by drafting Tim Duncan and go from there. Your biggest job is not to screw it up. And we haven’t, we have not screwed it up. That’s the credit that we deserve. But that good fortune, anybody would like to start a program that way. I’m flattered by what he said. We do try and do things in a certain way. I think a lot of the things we do are pretty universal, but we make mistakes, too.”

Stevens didn’t notice any of those mistakes. At least not on the court Sunday.

“They just crush you,” Stevens said after the loss. “And that’s what happened [Sunday]. And I think that’s what the Spurs do. I told them, I thought it was really the greatest example of the Spurs, is the dunk [by Aron Baynes] at the end of the game, because the Spurs play the right way all the time. They never change. They do it for 48 minutes, they do it for 82 games. There is no circumstance that affects how they approach the game. And I think that’s hopefully something that we can learn from.”

So far, Stevens has a record of 0-3 against the Spurs. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t learned anything. The lessons those losses have taught him, along with the studious mentality he has taken toward Popovich’s team in general, seem to be motivating Stevens to get better. If Stevens’ goal is to obtain the type of success that the Spurs have obtained, Celtics fans should be pretty pleased. It may take a while to achieve, but Popovich can see success in Stevens’ future. Asked about what his advice to Stevens was after the game, Popovich actually answered without being forced.

“Coaches always talk to each other,” Popovich said. “But he doesn’t need much from me. He was a hell of a coach before he got here and he’ll be an even better coach as time goes on. He’s a special guy, that’s why Danny Ainge went and got him.”

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow