With the NBA suspended indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Celtics coach Brad Stevens is adjusting to a new normal.
Stevens said Friday morning he’s already completed his post-season evaluations, a series of film and statistical reviews that typically take place, well, after the season is over. Whether more basketball will be played this season is still uncertain, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver considers a number of potential options.
“Some of that stuff is being brainstormed and bantered about at a 10,000-foot view,” Stevens said in a conference call. “I’m sure they’ll dial into details about it when some possible scenarios become more clear.”
While he’s hopeful the information gleaned from his evaluations will be useful should play resume, Stevens isn’t holding his breath. He recognizes the difficulty in determining the details of a schedule without a timeline — and, as he noted, “It’s impossible to have a timeline right now.”
The team is still communicating via frequent Zoom teleconferences, though the conversations aren’t solely about basketball. Stevens said he is regularly checking in with guard Marcus Smart, the lone Celtics player to test positive for coronavirus. According to Stevens, Smart is “doing really well” and remains asymptomatic.
“I just don’t think it’s appropriate right now to be hammering basketball with our guys,” Stevens said. “Basketball has taken a far back seat. I think it’s more important right now we’re a community of coworkers and a community of friends that care about each other, that get online and make sure we’re all doing OK.”
Any basketball activity is currently optional for players. With the Auerbach Center and other gyms closed, some stationary bikes and weights have been sanitized and delivered to players’ homes from the practice facility. Trainers have made virtual workouts available so that players can maintain their conditioning.
If the NBA does return this season — immediately with the playoffs or otherwise — Stevens acknowledged there will be a need for a re-acclimation period. Exactly what that looks like is a better question for sports scientists and the medical staff, he said.
In the meantime, Stevens is spending time at home with his wife Tracy, 14-year-old son Brady, and 10-year-old daughter Kinsley. He even put together a PowerPoint to help educate his children on the local, national, and global impact of coronavirus.
“My thoughts are with everybody who is really facing this thing,” Stevens said. “Many people are doing so much for the rest of us.”