In Brad Stevens' first season as head coach of the Boston Celtics, he won’t care about wins and losses.
His priority, as the season progresses, will instead be to make sure that his team and every player on it is developing in a positive way.
Throughout the season, lineups will shift, offensive and defensive schemes will be tweaked and some players will probably be replaced. Stevens must sift through his mental file cabinets full of empirical data while keeping one eye on the future. He must remember that what’s best for his team on a nightly basis might not be the same as what’s best down the road for this young and talented core of players.
There is no pressure on Stevens to win more games than he loses or to qualify for the playoffs this season. He’ll instead lose sleep over players not buying into his system, or guys in the rotation who have yet to convey their individual responsibilities.
Here are a few benchmarks that should help make things go as smooth as possible for Stevens, even though this Celtics season projects to be anything but smooth.