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Gregg Popovich offers praise and encouragement for Brad Stevens and Celtics

Stevens gets Pop's stamp of approval.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg Popovich is the best coach in the NBA right now.  He knows the game backwards and forwards and he knows good coaches when he sees them.  He likes what he sees in Brad Stevens, calling him a "great coach."  When asked to elaborate, he responded in true Pop fashion with "C'mon. We'll be here all day."

Obviously the feeling is mutual and Brad has used every opportunity to pick Pop's brain.

Notes: Popovich praises Stevens - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston

"I’ve gotten to know him; he’s been very gracious to me," Stevens said. "I met with him both of our games [last season], after both of our games and before. Met with him a little bit prior to our coaches’ meeting [this year] and I just texted him and said, ‘Hey, can I pick your brain for a while?’ He’s very amiable to that. Then we text here and there. The only other thing I know is that we’re both from Indiana, so sometimes we talk about family and Indiana half the time, then we get back to basketball. But he’s been great to me. I really admire him."

As for Pop's evaluation of the state of the team right now, he's got some encouraging words (always welcome in the midst of a losing run like the one the Celtics are on right now.

Popovich: Brad Stevens is a 'special guy' | Comcast SportsNet -

"It's a maturation for the Celtics," he said. "Basically a new system that Brad's putting in and they're starting to figure it out more and more all the time. But the good thing is while they're figuring things out, getting used to each other in a system, they're bringing their energy and competitiveness every night."

Patience is key here, even for us Celtics fans.  Think about what Brad Stevens preaches.  Never get too high or too low. Don't let this bad string of games define what this team is.  Give it time and trust in the system.  We might not be hanging any banners this year, but by sticking with the plan, they'll be on the right track for the future.