Naturally, Brad Stevens was the one who came out Tuesday to diffuse the situation the Boston Celtics have on hand.
Emotional after a fourth-quarter collapse Monday night, Marcus Smart was candid in the frustrations he has with the offense. It may not have been the right time or place to criticize the Celtics’ offensive strategy, but the guard apparently spoke to his teammates and had breakfast with Jayson Tatum to work on a plan to get back to winning games. And honestly, Smart made good points.
But Stevens on Monday did his part to downplay the drama the NBA world ran with.
“Last year we were 8-3 to start the year,” Stevens told NBC Sports Boston in an exclusive interview. “And it didn’t feel like 8-3 from my perspective. From the seat I was in I felt like we had a lot of things that we were going to have to really account for and we were going to have to be a lot better. And then we got hit with other stuff. And so, right now at 2-5, I feel a lot better from a structural standpoint.”
This time around, Stevens got to tweak the roster to his liking after his promotion from head coach, so the hope (obviously) was that the changes in personnel would make them better than last year. But those hypothetical improvements have really only been seen on paper to this point — even if there was a lot to like before the epic loss.
But it begs the question, which Michael Holley certainly asked, if can this group actually play together?
“We’re gonna find out,” Stevens assured. “We’re gonna find out.”