Everything You Need To Know From Brad Stevens' End Of The Season State Of The Union
The wounds from blowing an NBA Finals while being up 2-1 are still fresh, no two ways about it. That shit is going to sting for
the rest of my life a while. But part of the recovery process is being able to turn the page and put your energy toward the future. With the draft, free agency, and Summer League on the horizon, there are plenty of ways for all of us to try and bury the pain we are currently experiencing. That's why I was very interested to hear Brad speak today at his end of season State Of The Union. He has a huge summer ahead, but seeing as how this was the first time Brad has spoken publicly since the Finals, I was interested in hearing what he said about everything. The season, the Finals, the summer, the future. We're so used to how Danny Ainge handled these end of season pressers, I wanted to see what the difference would be with Brad. To be honest, he told us a lot. He was way more open and honest than what we had gotten during the Ainge era, so let's run through it
Real sting? You got that right Brad. I would argue there is not a more painful sting in existence. 4 minutes away from being up 3-1 to losing 3 straight and a title. Yeah, that's gonna fucking sting forever.
Again, spot on here from Brad and something we all knew because we have eyes. The defense was not an issue in these NBA Finals. The Warriors high powered offense never had more than 107 points in any game in this series. The offense? Well they scored to crack 100 in 4 of the 6 games. In 3 of those 4 they didn't crack 95, and in 2 of those 3 they didn't crack 91. Meanwhile, they couldn't stop turning the ball over even when WE ALL KNEW that was the one thing they couldn't do. Sure, part of that was the Warriors defense, but I'd say 75% of it was the Celts playing like assholes offensively. I still can't really accept the fact that they turned the ball over 56 times in the final three games of these Finals. That is such an outrageous number.
Am I crazy or did Ainge never really openly talk about a need or weakness heading into an offseason? We would get some sort of bland and generic response when talking about that topic. Brad apparently doesn't care, but probably because this is something that is also very obvious to anyone who just watched the 2022 Boston Celtics. I see this as Brad knowing what he has to do, but also subtly letting Aaron Nesmith know that there is a role for him if he can figure his shit out and actually be a functioning basketball player, specifically when it comes to shooting. If not, smell ya later.
I think it goes without saying that shot creation and scoring should be an emphasis this summer. That was one piece that was very clearly missing from this playoff run, and part of the reason everyone was playing so many minutes. The final sentence of that quote is what I care about though. The Celts have paths to improving, but will they even take them?
This right here is the most important thing Brad said during this presser and really it's the only thing that truly matters. For the Celtics to improve this roster, they re going to have to spend. They are going to have to be cool with the tax and everything that comes with it. In years prior, Wyc has said publicly that he will pay whatever as long as his team is a contender. This is Brad confirming to us that Wyc believes this team is a contender and is OK spending whatever it takes to improve the roster.
Of course, this is only half the battle. Being "willing" to pay and then actually finding the players and pulling the trigger are two different things. So what does that new talent look like?
Personally, I would have added the word "shooting" to those needs, but again I don't really have a problem or disagreement with Brad's assessment. I'm mostly just shocked he's being so open about this roster's flaws considering that's not really how life went for the last 20 years. This is where the challenge of this offseason gets interesting. We broke down the available talent in yesterday's blog, and when you look at those names it's clear that they are going to have to sacrifice something in terms of their ideal player skillset.
The ones that can shoot, can't really defend. The ones that can defend, can't really shoot. The playmakers or guys that can get their own shot aren't exactly the most efficient players. There is no perfect piece given what's on the available landscape. Sure there are maybe trades we don't know about, but it's something to consider based on how Brad is talking.
"Fuck them picks" is how I read that tweet.
All in all, Brad was more honest than I expected while also pretty much feeding us every answer we wanted to hear when it came to their offseason plan. He's made it clear that ownership will not handcuff him in terms of a financial restriction, but that "OK" only matters if you use it. There are players that can help, we'll just have to see what Brad/Ime are willing to sacrifice or adjust when it come to the construction of this roster.
With how much of a slam dunk Year 1 was under the direction of Brad Stevens, I have no doubt that Year 2 will be just as successful, especially if ownership gives him a blank check to do whatever he thinks will improve this team. I trust that man's basketball mind with my life.