Grantland's Zach Lowe interviewed Brad Stevens yesterday as the Boston Celtics prepared for their reunion with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn. Stevens discussed Crawford's development, ties, math, and Sullinger's three-point shot. An excerpt is quoted below, but click here for the full interview.
A: I like it.
Q: Was that an organizational decision? Did he push for it? Did you? Danny Ainge?
A: I've always been a guy that if you can shoot 3s, you need to shoot 3s. It extends the defense, especially when you've got a guy that can play an undersize 5 role. There are times when he's not going to be able to score as easily on the block, simply because of length. And so, his versatility will become facing up and shooting 3s. I saw him play in high school and in open gym, and I remember calling Thad [Matta, current Ohio State coach, former Butler coach] on the way home and saying, "I never knew he could shoot like that." And that was five or six years ago. And now he's still shooting like that.
I really appreciate Stevens' response to the Sullinger question, because that is a philosophy I buy into as well. Even though Sullinger was shaky to start the season, he has since been hitting threes at a consistent rate, at a respectable 31.6 percent for the year. His ability to stretch the floor will only make him more effective as he develops, not only opening things up for him as a scorer, but as a passer.
Be sure to spend a few minutes of your time reading the rest of the interview over at Grantland.