Brad Stevens doesn’t plan to just sit back after the Boston Celtics made a run to the NBA Finals this spring.
The Celtics’ president of basketball operations sees room for improvement within the team, and knows exactly which areas the Celtics need to get better in if they want to ultimately claim Banner 18 next season.
“We need a little bit more playmaking,” Stevens told reporters at his end-of-season press conference on Tuesday, via MassLive’s Souichi Terada. “I think that’s real. I think we need more playmaking but I don’t think we can be stagnant. We have to make sure that we continue to play with pace. When we are at our best we play with pace, and when we create one advantage, the ball whips around the court.”
Stevens thought the Celtics offense played “pretty slow” against the Golden State Warriors as their pace along with a lack of playmaking contributed to the Celtics offensive woes in the finals. Boston also routinely turned the ball over, including doing so 22 times in its Game 6 defeat.
While Stevens hopes to make corrections to get the Celtics more playmaking, he believes the offense needs more tinkering than just that, specifically when it comes to bench scoring.
Derrick White, Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard all had moments in the postseason, but ended up shrinking when the Celtics needed them most in the finals, which put even more of a burden on Boston’s starting unit. The trio combined to score just nine points over the final two games against the Warriors.
“I’d like to have a little bit more scoring, consistent scoring, off the bench,” Stevens said, per Terada. “I think we have some short-term needs there. But I believe in a couple of the guys that didn?t get a chance to play as much, that they will continue to improve and be knocking on that door soon. So we have some development opportunities within our own organization, and we’ll continue to scour and look at what our opportunities are with our trade exceptions and the draft and our limited resources in free agency.”
With Stevens targeting these needs offensively, it will now be up to him to help the Celtics improve in those areas with the work he can do in the offseason.