BOSTON – Entering his 10th game as the Boston Celtics' coach, Brad Stevens is seeing some improvements on defense. Considering the team came into the preseason without a center with NBA experience, that is saying a lot.
He also touched upon the importance of Jared Sullinger, who missed the previous game with a sore knee. "We’re not as good on the block, obviously, and throwing it into the post," Stevens said regarding Sullinger's absence. "You know, the other night against Orlando, we went on a 4-0 run when we were down 19-15 by just throwing him the ball.
"So it gives us a little bit more flexibility playing inside out. That’s when we’ve been our best. Nonetheless, we still have guys that can play down there. But he’s still probably our best post player. We need him to post a lot for our team to be good. That doesn’t mean he can’t shoot it when he’s open and that doesn’t mean we don’t want him to shoot when he’s open. But posting is going to be a part of our team."
Stevens also praised his scouting staff, explaining the role they have had in his transition to the NBA. "The scouting process has been good," Stevens said. "We’ve had great help as far as getting the right amount of information to me before every game. It’s a quick turnaround. There’s no question about it.
"Our first 10 games, we’ve only played one team twice and one other team that we had played in the preseason. So you didn’t have much. You don’t know a lot about these teams until the first time you view them. So yeah, there’s a learning curve, but it’s been good. You can’t quite get in depth as much as you can in college because you have a one day turnaround."
The team's leading scorer, Jeff Green, wasn't in any mood to discuss Saturday's first matchup between Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers. After saying he didn't even know it was happening, Green responded to the question of who he thought would win by muttering, "I could care less. We got a game."
While Green's claim of focus is admirable, it is hard to believe that he doesn't feel any emotion towards the reunion of three of his biggest mentors in his career. It will certainly be interesting to see how he feels when the Clippers come to town on December 11.