This post is just an opinion of mine on Brad Stevens and how much he has hurt the Celtics this season. I get that we weren't tanking in the beginning of the season because it hurts young players will to win early in their careers, and it isn't smart to build a losing culture during a rebuild. However, winning games at this point to "finish the season strong" is absolutely idiotic. I'm not saying we should lose intentionally, but what about playing our young guys and the guys on non guaranteed contracts in order to figure out what we have moving into the future? The fact that Olynyk is still playing less minutes than Bass is an absolute travesty. I feel like Brad Stevens has not only stunted Olynyk's development by giving him inconsistent minutes, but he also has put the Celtics in an uncomfortable position of not knowing what we have moving forward.
Sullinger and Olynyk have been our best duo this season in almost every measurable advanced statistic, but Stevens has given us such a small sample size that we will never know whether or not it is sustainable. Not only that, but it took an injury to Humphries for Sullinger to get back to starting. I am of the impression that Sullinger is without a doubt our starting PF of the future, and if he isn't, it is because he is traded to make the team better immediately. If he is our PF of the future, it would be wise to have him start every game and develop as quickly as possible. If he is supposed to be traded in order to get us a major piece in return, then he should be getting major minutes to show other teams that he has 20-10 potential. The fact that Olynyk has been outstanding during the Allstar break yet he still gets limited minutes no matter how he is playing is simply idiotic. Bass simply isn't a part of our future nor will his trade value increase at this point in his career. There simply is no benefit to playing Bass more minutes than Olynyk whether you are trying to win or trying to tank. If you are trying to win, the Celtics have been much better with Olynyk on the floor than they have been with bass. If you are tanking, it makes no sense not to develop young talent and let them get their licks in during a lost season.
I get that Stevens has been able to keep the Celtics playing hard even when the wins aren't showing up on their record, but honestly, who cares? Half of the guys on the current roster cannot possibly remain on the roster if this team wishes to contend at any point in the near future. Winning games when you are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs is a great idea if you feel like being stuck in mediocrity for seasons to come. I know that some of the people that comment on this post will rag on me saying that they don't believe in tanking and they want to watch the Celtics play winning basketball. My question at this point in the season is WHY? There is absolutely nothing to be gained from winning games and everything to be lost. The difference between being the fourth and fifth pick in the upcoming draft cannot be overstated. The guys projected to be in the top 4: Embiid, Parker, Wiggins, Exum. I believe all of these guys have insane potential. After that? Say hello to Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh, and Julius Randle. 3 of those guys are PFs that I honestly believe won't be as good as either Sullinger or Olynyk. The other one is a horrible fit for the Celtics.
If the Celtics were winning games because we were developing our young guys and teaching them something, then I could almost accept it. But for the Celtics, winning games off the backs of Bass, Green, Avery Bradley, and Bayless who probably won't be part of the Celtics in the future is counter productive. I think Stevens has not only hurt the development (or relative trade value) of Sullinger and Olynyk, but he has also hurt our draft status at the most inopportune time possible. We finally catch the Orlando Magic in the lottery chase, but we just had to win one meaningless game in April for Coach Stevens to be able to sleep at night. I am a diehard Celtics fan through and through. I do not enjoy watching the Celtics lose. I also know that tanking for a lottery pick doesn't guarantee future success. However, at this point in the season (3 games left) there is nothing to be gained from winning and everything to be gained from figuring out what we have in Chris Johnson, Chris Babb, and Kelly Olynyk. We also need to figure out if the Sullinger/Olynyk pairing is something that can sustain positive results over an extended period of time or if one of them needs to be shipped out. Either way, tonight was a bad night for the Celtics in every way shape and form. It felt like Olynyk was going to break out, but he plays only 22 minutes (and Sullinger played only 28). I know almost no one on this website will agree with me, but Brad Stevens has held back the Celtics this year in my opinion. There is no reason that the Sullinger and Olynyk pairing hasn't seen 25-28 MPG since we were eliminated from the playoff race and there is no reason to win games just to be able to sleep better at night. When we end up with the 5th pick in the draft and Olynyk goes somewhere else and explodes onto the NBA scene, Brad Stevens will have set back the Celtics rebuilding process multiple years.