Brad Stevens was interviewed before Boston faced elimination in Game 5 against Brooklyn. Both Robert Williams and Kemba Walker will be out as the Celtics take on the Nets.
“Both out. Both out…” said Stevens. “Kemba has continued to be pretty sore, Rob has improved…both are out tonight…”
Coach Stevens said he spoke with Walker, and felt a great deal of sympathy as Boston’s starting guard has dealt with knee management this season. Stevens made sure to emphasize that the current issues Walker has been dealing with stem from the bone bruise, and not the knee injury he had been recovering from since last year’s playoffs.
When asked on Evan Fournier’s performance and how Stevens thought he had fit with the team, Coach said “Evan’s a good player. I think that for us to have success tonight, one of the things that we’ve got to do is we’ve got to help him find spots…get him in good spots, because he can score the ball for us and he can also drive and make plays…he brings that experience on the offensive end, he can play against different defenses, he can play against traditionally, can play against the switching…he can space and drive and so, you know, he’s a big part of us and I think we need to make sure that we find his strengths as a team as much as possible.”
Stevens was asked if the team had concerns about Robert Williams’ injuries for the long term picture. “Well, first of all with Robert, as you asked that, he’s going to have to (whenever our season is over), he’s going to have to be off that toe to let it fully heal for however many weeks. But with regard to the other small stuff the ankle and those type of things, it’s not anything that we are overly concerned about. We try to manage his minutes at the start of the year appropriately so that he would feel great especially with coming off the 50 games missed last year with the hip and from that point he did. It was just unfortunate that he got the turf toe and the ankle.”
Stevens was also asked about the Kyrie Irving incident at half court and the fan who threw the water bottle at the former Celtics star. “With regard to Kyrie, I have to think the other day, like, I just echo what Smart and Jayson said. That the bottle throwing is just unacceptable, it’s not part of the game. It’s not the way that anybody in the stadium, 99.9% of the people in the stadium, want to be represented and it’s just unacceptable and I’m glad that it was handled accordingly. But just like a lot of these incidents that are happening across the league, like I agree with those…understand that fans can bring a great deal of passion and rightfully so. But it’s got to be within the confines of being respectful and recognizing that these guys are out there giving their all for their team and regardless of who the team you’re cheering for or not, they should be treated with dignity and respect, and throwing something at somebody is not okay.”