GREG WAHL-STEPHENS/Associated Press
We've perhaps learned more about Brad Stevens in this half of a season than any individual player on the Boston Celtics.
The first-year head coach hasn't had a ton of major success, with just 14 wins through the year's first 40 games, but he has shown that he'll be just fine transitioning to the NBA game.
For the most part, the Celtics haven't been the dysfunctional mess teams like the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks or Cleveland Cavaliers have been. That is at least in part a testament to their head coach, who keeps everyone on his same even keel.
Even when speaking about Rajon Rondo's return on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Gresh & Zolak program, he made sure to calm expectations:
The community will be excited about [Rondo's return], I think our team is excited about that. Everybody in this building is excited about that. But at the same time I think it’s appropriate to temper our expectations of him.Part of his rehab now is to play a restricted number of minutes each game, so he won’t be back to full form. But it’ll be exciting to have him out there.
Stevens appears respectful but stern with his decision-making. Players have been benched for subpar effort and play, while minute distribution has been almost entirely based on who is earning it at the time.
Outside of that, it is pretty clear that Stevens is getting the most out of a relatively weak crop of players and strange roster makeup. He was given too many power forwards and shooting guards to start the season.
As a quick fix, he made Jordan Crawford into a point guard and he thrived in that role. Despite all being relatively similar players, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries are all having one of the best years of their careers under Stevens.
He has gotten the most out of his players so far. When those players become more talented, it is reasonable to think that Stevens will remain a positive influence.