Has Brad Stevens neglected a fundamental part of coaching NBA players?
Basketball Hall of Famer and ESPN NBA analyst Tracy McGrady suggested Tuesday on “The Jump” the Boston Celtics are struggling with chemistry and have failed to reach their potential because their head coach hasn’t clarified each player’s role on the team.
The Celtics enter Tuesday’s matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers with a 35-21 record. They currently own the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.
McGrady believes Stevens can improve Boston’s fortunes by identifying each player’s role in a team-meeting setting, allowing teammates to hold each other accountable for doing their respective jobs.
“They have a talented roster, but he (Marcus Morris) is right,” McGrady said. “There’s a bunch of individuals out there trying to get theirs.
“I love Brad Stevens, I think he’s a hell of a coach, but I have to put some of the onus on him in terms of what are the players’ roles? Jeff Van Gundy, why I respect him so much, was my coach with the Houston Rockets for three years. Before the season, he sat everybody down and identified each player’s role in front of the other guys.
“… So now, everyone has a role identified to them, you can hold each other accountable and say ‘you’re not doing your job.’ I think he has to do that because I don’t think these guys really know individually ‘what do I have to do to win?’ ”
Surely, lack of clarity and accountability aren’t the only reasons for the Celtics’ relative struggles. Perhaps the weight of expectations and rumors about individual players’ futures also are playing a role in the team’s underwhelming season to date.
Nevertheless, Stevens and Celtics fans might as well include McGrady’s suggestion in their inventory of steps to check as a pivotal postseason nears.
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