Thursday, May 15, 2014
Can't be frozen: Stevens still at work
By Chris Forsberg
CHICAGO -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens joked before the team's season finale last month that he had only one firm offseason plan: To watch Disney's "Frozen" with his 4-year-old daughter, Kinsley.
He smiled Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine when asked if he had completed that task before admitting he'd managed to avoid movie night thus far. But don't blame him; it's his kids who have asked to watch playoff basketball and hockey instead.
"I know the main songs [from 'Frozen']," said Stevens, who, like the rest of us, can't avoid "Let It Go," particularly when his daughter watches for what he previously joked was the "18,000th time."
But asked how he has avoided a full 108-minute showing, Stevens noted, "The playoffs are on."
Explained Stevens: "This is funny, how much we’ve transitioned to Boston. The other day, we were watching the Bruins play. We were skipping the NBA playoffs for a night, or at least until the Bruins game was over. We really got into that. That’s the first time my kids have ever watched hockey. It was fun for all of us."
Stevens, who has previously noted how his 8-year-old son, Brady, rushed home from school to watch the Boston Red Sox on opening day of the MLB season, said his family was enthralled watching the Bruins' second-round series against the rival Montreal Canadiens. So much so that his wife, Tracy, and the kids were texting him updates from Wednesday's Game 7 as the Celtics conducted their first batch of player interviews in Chicago.
While Boston's lack of playoff participation brought an early start to this offseason, Stevens noted how productive the past month has been for the team, all while downshifting a bit away from the grind of the regular season.
"I’m not in midseason work form, but we’re working on trying to analyze the whole season and it’s been good because we’ve had a little bit of time to do that," said Stevens. "We came up with game plans for our guys that have been on our roster. Now we’ve turned our attention to [the draft]. It’s been good, it’s been productive. The last month's been pretty productive, probably more so than I would have thought."
Jared Sullinger said recently that Stevens was "really honest" with his end-of-the-season assessments and sent the second-year big man into the offseason with a clear understanding of what's expected from him.
Asked if he was firm with his assessments, Stevens said: "I thought we were just real. I don’t think it was anything -- it’s what an end-of-the-year [evaluation] should be, whether you had a good year or bad year. You move on and you try to get better from whatever just happened and figure out what really happened and wrap our arms around that."
Stevens said the team laid the groundwork for the offseason as much as possible considering the roster uncertainty. Many of last season's players remained in Boston recently and were working out at the team's facility before starting their summer vacations. Stevens noted how the team has "already started planning for workouts with our guys when they return. We’ve already started planning for what we’re going to do with the summer league team."
Stevens believes there will be familiarity along his bench while noting he expects to bring back his entire staff in Ron Adams, Jay Larranaga, Micah Shrewsberry, Jamie Young and Walter McCarty (the latter of whom was part of the team's traveling party in Chicago). Stevens said he wouldn't stand in the way of his staff members, however, if a better opportunity presented itself. "I’ve always been one that you get a great opportunity, I want you to do that," said Stevens.