Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens is unimpressed with his team’s lackluster start to the 2021-22 campaign thus far and hinted roster changes could be on the horizon for the Celtics.
On the heels of the Celtics’ heartbreaking 99-97 loss to the San Antonio Spurs — where All-Star Jaylen Brown missed a game-tying layup just before the game clock expired — Stevens joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich morning show for his weekly appearance. He offered perspective on the Celtics’ recent struggles as Boston (18-20) remains under .500, currently tenth in the Eastern Conference, and still searching for its midseason stride.
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Why is this not working?
“I think that the same, similar, stuff to what we talked about earlier this year with our lack of consistency possession-to-possession would be the number one thing,” Stevens told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich, Thursday. “I think that, obviously, when you’re talking about winning a 48-minute game, you got to be good throughout the whole thing, and you got to find a consistent way of doing things well throughout the whole game.”
Brad Stevens Addresses Celtics’ Fourth-Quarter Woes
Late-game execution has undoubtedly been a focal point for Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. Wednesday’s two-point defeat to the Spurs marked the eleventh time Boston has lost by five points or less this season, and the sixth time it’s happened since the Celtics’ 114-111 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on December 8.
“There’s no question those games get even more dialed-in on both sides in the fourth quarter,” Stevens added. “And, I think that, obviously, we’ve had some games here, especially in this stretch, where we’ve had fourth-quarter opportunities and not finish. So, there’s a number of things, and we have a lot to fix.”
From a trade standpoint, how long do you wait before deciding it’s time to make a move?
“That’s a good question,” Stevens replied. “I think that the challenge is, in the last two years, specifically, may be portions of the last five, but certainly the last two, there hasn’t been a consistent timeframe to be able to evaluate the full group. But, the reality is: we may never get that, right? So, I think we have enough information that we need to make sure that we are focused on improving.”
Brad Stevens: ‘There’s a lot That Needs to Improve’
Brad suggested ways in which he and Udoka can improve things.
“There’s a couple of different ways of doing that; number one is internally tweaking what we’re doing; playing better, tweaking rotations, whatever the case may be,” Stevens added. “And, the second way would be, obviously, roster tweaks. I think everybody in here — players, coaches, front office — everybody that works here is not happy with where we are from a record standpoint. So, we have to improve.”
Stevens hopes impactful changes will come from within but isn’t naive enough to guarantee the Celtics will pull a 180 overnight. It’s not familiar normality in today’s NBA.
“There’s a lot that needs to improve,” Stevens said. “We would like to get a chance to see everybody out there so we could get a real feel for the group in its totality. But, we also recognize that doesn’t happen often in the NBA and certainly doesn’t happen in COVID years. We have to figure that out.”