Celtics

Morning sports update: What Brad Stevens had to say about Celtics players ‘tuning you out’

"And listen, we all know that we have to be better," Stevens said. "I think that that's a common thought when things aren't going well."

Brad Stevens
Brad Stevens during a Celtics-Wizards game in February. AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Bruins lost to the Devils on Thursday, 3-2. Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak scored Boston’s goals.

On Sunday, the Bruins will face the Flyers outdoors on the shore of Lake Tahoe. The start time of the game has been changed, and is now set to get underway at 2 p.m. ET.

Tonight, the Celtics get a chance to avenge Wednesday’s loss to the Hawks, facing Atlanta again at 7:30 p.m.

Brad Stevens on the Celtics’ current issues: The Celtics, despite the expectations coming into the season after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020, are currently just 14-14.

While much of the underachievement can be attributed to injuries and (in Jayson Tatum’s case) the lingering effects of COVID-19, criticism has nonetheless fallen partly on Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

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In his weekly interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand,” Stevens was asked if he thinks players are “tuning you out.”

“Well, the tune out part I don’t [detect],” Stevens replied. “And certainly you’re going to go through times of the year where guys are frustrated with their own individual experiences. You’re not going to play more than five guys at a time and you’re not going to play more than eight, nine, sometimes 10 guys in your rotation when fully healthy. So there’s always going to be something, right?”

“But as far as guys and our ability from day-to-day to coach, they’ve been great to me,” Stevens added. “I have no complaints in that regard at all. And listen, we all know that we have to be better. I think that that’s a common thought when things aren’t going well. But I don’t really put too much into that stuff.”

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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, when asked a similar question, defended Stevens in strong terms.

“Absolutely not,” said Ainge on if players were tuning Stevens out. “That is ridiculous. I just think that’s the culture of sports and sports reporting. It’s a common theme; it must be this if you don’t show up to play or show up to play with the intensity and motivation it takes to win. I don’t see that at all.”

Trivia: The 2010 Butler men’s basketball team that Brad Stevens coached to a Final Four appearance included two future NBA players. One was Gordon Hayward. Who was the other?

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(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was a second-round pick by the Wizards in 2011, and has played for seven different NBA teams. He currently plays for Panathinaikos in Greece.

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On this day: In 1953, Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams was in Korea amid his second departure from baseball for military service.

Flying a Marine Corps jet, Williams was the wingman of future astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn. But on Feb. 19, 1953, his Grumman F9F Panther was hit by antiaircraft fire.

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With his jet on fire and the radio dead, Williams initially began flying in the wrong direction. But thanks to Lieutenant Larry Hawkins, who flew alongside and communicated using hand signals, Williams was able to navigate back to the U.S. base.

He crash-landed going more than 200 miles per hour, and leapt from the plan before it burst into flames.

“I had holes all over the plane and I was riding on all the prayers people say for me ’cause I was awfully lucky,” Williams later wrote in a letter home. “My plane was burning like hell when I crash landed. Everybody around here now is calling me lucky.”

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Daily highlight: Gareth Bale helped Tottenham to a 4-1 win over Wolfsburg in the Europa League on Thursday with some quality technique and a well-placed finish.

Trivia answer: Shelvin Mack

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