According to Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, Media Day is the toughest day of the season because his mind is on so many other things. He wants to focus his attention on tomorrow's practice and managing his roster, but instead he's stuck in front of a podium answering questions.
While speaking to the media may not be what Stevens would prefer to be doing today, he's taking it in stride. The coach was even a bit playful at times with his responses. When asked where he sees the Celtics finishing this season, Stevens wryly responded "somewhere in the top 30." Well, we'd certainly hope so!
Turning to a more serious note, Stevens discussed what his goals are for this team. While he admits it may not happen this season, his main priority is to bring another championship to the city of Boston.
Stevens doesn't know how long it will take, but, "I have one goal at this job and that's to win an NBA championship."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) September 25, 2015
Stevens seems to like the roster he has to work with, but acknowledges that he still has work to do when it comes to determining who is going to play and at what times. While the Celtics may be lacking a superstar, they are a deep team with no shortage of players deserving of minutes. The unfortunate side of that is there will be times when some players aren't seeing much court time, despite that they may have earned it.
One player who's role will constantly be scrutinized this season is Isaiah Thomas. Stevens still has yet to determine if the feisty point guard will start or come off the bench, but as far as he is concerned it shouldn't matter. Stevens is more concerned about what role Thomas will play rather than when he will play. What it boils down to is that Thomas is all about winning and Stevens remains confident that Thomas will do what's best for the team and produce no matter what he's asked to do.
Brad Stevens on Isaiah Thomas wanting a starting role: "That kid's about winning first and foremost."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) September 25, 2015
Stevens also seems excited by the addition of Amir Johnson. While the Celtics may not have a prototypical center, Johnson's versatility should allow him to mesh well with any of the other bigs on the roster. This allows Stevens to remain flexible and run a variety of different lineup types.
Reflecting on how last season ended, Stevens recalls that being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers was "not a pleasant experience." The team didn't play as well as they would have liked, which on that stage meant being trounced by a veteran team led by a star that has had a taste of winning before. However, Stevens sees it as a great learning experience, which he hopes the team can carry over with them to this season.
The NBA season is almost upon us, as the Celtics open up practice tomorrow. As for Stevens, he'll just be glad once he's made it past Media Day.