As the Celtics trudge through a February to forget, and sit right at .500 entering Tuesday’s matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, many disgruntled fans are eager to blame head coach Brad Stevens for the team’s shortcomings of late.
Sean Grande, the play-by-play radio voice of the Celtics, advises those fans to think twice before directing their displeasure at Stevens. He’s very confident Stevens – who signed a six-year contract extension in August – is the right man for the job and won’t be fired anytime soon.
“As a talk show topic, it’s fine,” Grande said, “but it’s not happening.”
Grande, speaking with NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg in a clip shared Tuesday morning, pointed out that Stevens has helped the Celtics win more games than they probably should have in five of his seven years.
Year one, they were right where people expected them to be, and they fared below the expectations that were set in 2019.
“The other five years for Brad, in my view, have gone somewhat to significantly better than they should have,” Grande said. “Then you get victimized by your own success.”
How much blame for Boston’s woes falls on Brad Stevens? No one is spared from the blame pie but @SeanGrandePBP offers a reminder about Brad’s track record.
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) February 23, 2021
He noted that once a team wins 55 games, the common belief is that the same group should win 60 games the next year. In reality, that’s not always how it works.
Grande referenced how Stevens turned an Isaiah Thomas-fueled squad in 2017 into a top 10 defensive team that had no right to be in that echelon.
He also flashed back to the 2014-15 season as an example. When Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll elected not to hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch, and the Patriots stunned the Seahawks, the Celtics on that same day scored just 75 points, lost to the Miami Heat, and dropped to 16-30 on the season.
They then won 24 of their final 36 games and managed to sneak into the postseason behind the sterling coaching of Stevens.
“He got that team into the playoffs,” Grande said.
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