The Celtics topped the Toronto Raptors 132-125, Thursday night. Boston’s star duo combined for 48 points, including 5-of-12 attempts from deep while Kemba Walker’s modest 15 points on 4-of-11 attempts marked the first time since February 21 that Kemba didn’t finish with 20+ points; capping off his best five-game span of the regular season.
It seems like good times are ahead; a complete 180, in contrast to where this team was a few weeks back.
That’s when angry Celtics fans were one long losing-streak away from demanding for Celtics head coach Brad Stevens to be fired.
Anonymous NBA Player On Celtics’ Brad Stevens: ‘I Rather Ride With What You Got Right Now’
On the latest episode of CLNS Media’s Bob Ryan & Jeff Goodman podcast, Godman shares a couple of conversations he had with anonymous NBA players who had plenty to say about the Celtics’ head coaching job in Boston.
“I talked to two veteran players yesterday, NBA veterans that I trust, that have played the Celtics,” Goodman said. “One (player) has multiple times, another has played them in the last two weeks; and both kind of told me the same thing. They both said, ‘Listen, I would rather ride with what you got right now, get Kemba back, you know — which he is — get Kemba healthy; give him the All-Star break and he’s playing much better.
“Get Marcus Smart back and then you got a totally different team than you had at the beginning of the season.”
Anonymous NBA Player On Potential Brad Stevens Firing: ‘Are You Out Of Your Mind?’
Goodman says he mentioned to two other NBA players that some Celtics fans want to see Brad Stevens fired; to which Goodman received strong responses from both.
“They both were like, ‘Are you out of your mind? You’re not getting anybody better,’ they said, ‘unless, he’s lost the locker room, completely, you’re crazy,’ Goodman added. “Both of them said he is a great coach. One of them said to me, ‘Are these guys, watching them play, are they all about ‘me, next,’? Is that the problem with the team right now? Especially when Kemba first coming back.’ They were still worried about the makeup of the locker room, a little bit.
“But they said without being in the locker room, it’s just hard to know.”
Goodman On Why Celtics Should Target Rockets’ P.J. Tucker
Goodman believes it’s in the Celtics’ best interest to not get rid of Stevens. Instead, he’d like to see Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge add a veteran piece; who’s currently playing for the Houston Rockets.
“He doesn’t fit what they need on the court that much but the team stinks, they’re going to go younger and he’s in the last year of his deal; it’s P.J. Tucker,” Goodman said. “I love him. In the locker room, on the court; toughness. All of it. Wouldn’t you love to have PJ Tucker on this team for that reason?”
Bob Ryan, Goodman’s co-host, was intrigued.
“You said that and I go, ‘that’s an interesting one.’ I got on that bandwagon, last year,” Ryan said. “It took a while but I did get on it and I understand why you would say that, and it would be intriguing.”