Celtics

“We don’t have so much talent that we can’t play well. We have to be way more dialed in.”

Brad Stevens 617c03377f2c0
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens speaks during Media Day.

Brad Stevens knows five games in October don’t make or break a season, but he also isn’t overly enthusiastic about the way the Celtics have executed to this point.

“We don’t have so much talent that we can’t play well,” Stevens told Toucher and Rich on Friday. “We have to be way more dialed in.”

Stevens, the Celtics President of Basketball Operations, has a different view now than he did after coaching the team from 2013 to June of 2021. He helped construct a roster with many new pieces, and so far the 2-3 Celtics haven’t met his or others’ expectations.

He said it’s about more than effort but that giving effort is the minimum requirement. Their opponents are currently averaging 119 points per game, second-worst behind only the Los Angeles Lakers, and they’ve allowed the third-most rebounds per game (50.8).

“There are things that are concerning if we don’t start playing possession to possession,” Stevens acknowledged.

Brad Stevens on @Toucherandrich: “We don’t have so much talent that we can’t play well. We have to be way more dialed in possession to possession… Not going to overreact to 5-gm sample. But there are things that are concerning if we don’t start playing possession to possession.”

— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) October 29, 2021

Stevens said it’s the very beginning of the season and that the Celtics could easily be 1-4 or 4-1. He said gets “a kick” out of everyone analyzing the team’s lack of energy in a pregame shoot-around prior to their matchup with the Wizards on Wednesday.

His replacement, Ime Udoka, said he sensed the Celtics would get their “a– kicked” if they played the way they warmed up – which they did for most of the game in his eyes. Stevens said a team can have a good game despite a bad shoot-around, but he made it clear he doesn’t have a problem with Udoka calling out his team afterward.

“I don’t think it’s ever wrong to have an authentic approach, and Ime is authentic,” Stevens said.

Thread of Brad Stevens on @985TheSportsHub this morning.

-Not overreacting to early season struggles

-Does see signs for concerns with effort and technique

-Supports Ime Udoka doing things his way, including calling out the team publicly

-Wants Marcus Smart to do Smart things https://t.co/t65fEFebQi

— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 29, 2021

Get the latest Boston sports news

Receive updates on your favorite Boston teams, straight from our newsroom to your inbox.