WALTHAM, Mass. -- Short a couple of bodies for his team's end-of-practice shooting drills, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens used the opportunity to get up a few shots as the team went through a breezy day-after-game session at HealthPoint.
"I like exercise, so I wanted to get a little bit of exercise," said Stevens. "It wasn’t great exercise nor was it great shooting."
Don't be so hard on yourself, Coach. Stevens hit five jumpers in a row from the elbow at one point before going cold. The 37-year-old said it's hard to keep up at his advanced age.
"Well, fatigue hits, that’s the problem," said Stevens. "It’s only one minute at a time, and by 30 seconds my right arm hurt."
Luckily for Stevens, he's a better coach than shooter and his players continue to rave about what he's done in getting Boston on track after an 0-4 start. Riding a four-game winning streak now to get back to .500, his charges shoveled much of the credit to him for giving the team a fighting chance in every game this season.
"There’s something special about that guy, man," marveled Brandon Bass. "He’s a rookie coach, but he’s very knowledgeable and he’s picking up things pretty fast."
A couple other quick hits from Boston's light afternoon workout:
STEVENS' POKER FACE: Stevens playfully reflected on his reaction (or, more specifically, his lack thereof) after Jeff Green's game-winner in Miami on Saturday. Reminded how he barely flinched, while veteran assistant coach Jamie Young raced onto the court in celebration, Stevens joked, "You can’t hit Gerald like that, Jamie. Gerald is 31-years-old, you can’t just tackle him from behind." Turning the attention back to himself, Stevens noted, "I know this sounds crazy, this is my job.... My wife sent me a text that said, ‘Congratulations, you beat the Heat. Now you have to beat human nature.’ It doesn’t change, it doesn’t stop. You just have to keep it going. I’ll smile when we’re remembering the good times after the season and I’ll try not to get too down the tough ones during the season. We’ve got tough ones ahead, and hopefully a couple good ones ahead. We’ll keep fighting, keep moving." Bass noted how, while referees reviewed the play, Stevens calmly prepared the team for the possibility of overtime had Green's foot been on the 3-point line. Stevens is seemingly always one step ahead.
WALLACE THE OPTIMIST: The Celtics lost four straight and now have won four straight. So, is the glass half empty of half full? Count Wallace among the optimists. "We're a lot better than the first games we played, but the first games were expected from guys first time playing together, new coach, new system," said Wallace. "I think the effort was there, [but] there was a lot more selfishness, guys not trusting each other, not understanding each other, not knowing how to play with each other in the first couple of games. But the effort was there. We just continued to play and get that trust, and it's starting to show now."