Brad Stevens explained what kind of moves he expects the Celtics to make at the trade deadline, if any
Stevens also defended interim coach Joe Mazzulla amid the team’s recent three-game losing streak in an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
The NBA trade deadline is just under two weeks away and while the Celtics don’t have major needs, that doesn’t stop them from looking to improve the team.
In an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Saturday, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said he and the team “always have to look at how you can improve.”
“I come back to it – I think we’re good and I think we’re in the mix and tough to beat,” Stevens said. “But there are other teams that are like that too. So anything you can do to improve your opportunities, you really have to check it out and look at it.
Stevens presented two possible scenarios that a team looking to win could take on the deadline. One of them is adding different players in rotation, which Boston did at last season’s trade deadline, adding Derrick White and Daniel Theis while shipping Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder, Romeo Langford and two first-round picks on deadline day.
Stevens doesn’t see the Celtics making those kinds of moves again, but left the door open for additions.
“You can revamp the game and add totally different guys who are important players to you,” Stevens said. “It’s probably a lot less likely here because we have a really good core who have played together in the big moments, who understand what those moments are like, who know where we want to go.
“What’s probably more likely is to assess how to fortify your depth, how to make sure you’re as infallible as possible. But hey, there are also other teams and there are good players all over the league. You probably view them as opportunities you’re cooking up.
Stevens mentioned that the recent introduction of the play-in tournament is preventing more teams from being sellouts at the deadline, making it potentially difficult to find the right deal before the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
Stevens also defended interim coach Joe Mazzulla in the interview. The 34-year-old coach’s strategy was called into question last week as the Celtics lost three straight, including a three-point loss to the Heat on Tuesday that saw them lose a 10-point lead in fourth quarter and overtime. loss to the Knicks on Thursday.
“If he doesn’t have an answer or if he passes and objectively assesses himself after the game in conversations with one of us, he is the first who will dive in, learn, grow and try to correct “, Steven told me. “I think that’s really a great quality. Obviously the Miami game didn’t go the way we wanted. I think we played well for the first 40 minutes, then we slipped in the last eight minutes and there were things late on that we didn’t do well.
“When we watched the end of the New York game, even though some of the shots didn’t go through, I thought we handled those situations very well. So there’s just a lot of will to keep going. grow, to keep improving. There is a very good connection with the team.”
At 35-15, the Celtics hold the NBA’s best record going into Saturday’s game against the Lakers despite their recent slip-up. Stevens thinks the Celtics are a “really good team” that will be “really, really tough to beat” going forward, but also thinks they have room for improvement as well.
“I think they did a lot of good things,” Stevens said of his team. “When I look at the bigger picture, I would say that if we stay relatively healthy, focus on some areas for improvement at both ends of the floor, and iron out very small, very manageable things, we can be in. The mixture.
“I don’t think we roll like the Bruins roll. »
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