Not many positives came out of the Celtics' 95-87 loss to the polished Spurs, but we saw something special. Gregg Popovich rarely answers to the media, and when he does, he tends to offer generic responses, or throws out one of his classic, sarcastic lines. However, following the ugly game between the young Celtics and seasoned Spurs, Popovich praised Brad Stevens.
"I really respect the hell out of him. He's a really fine young coach, great demeanor. His team executes really well, and they're just going to keep getting better. So I enjoy him."- Gregg Popovich
Stevens, just 36 years old when he was hired, has managed to earn the respect of more experienced basketball minds. But there is something special about receiving the praise of Popovich. The Spurs coach went on to talk about Stevens demeanor, and even admitted that he learns from the young coach.
"I really respect what he does, I'll still watch his Butler tape trying to learn some stuff he did there, to be honest with you."
While Brad Stevens' has done an excellent job with the Celtics, he may need to deal with the issue of rotations and playing time. Going into the season, Boston's depth seemed like a strength (and it still can be), but the lack of production from the starting five has caused problems. Stevens has been rolling with an 11-man rotation. Amir Johnson, the big free agent signing of the summer, saw his first big chunk of floor time for the first time this season. This rotation issue shouldn't be too hard to deal with, but it certainly is a setback.
The Celtics will look to get back on track against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.