Brad Stevens was interviewed at Celtics practice on Monday as the team prepares for game two tomorrow night against Brooklyn.“I think obviously we got to score the ball better and we got to attack their switching better,” said Stevens about the team’s expected adjustments.
As the league is easing out of mask protocols and TD Garden looks to welcome back to full capacity with no masks, Coach Stevens kept it in perspective. “It was really interesting… as coaches we’re just allowed, just head coaches, to take the masks off,” said Stevens. “There is a sense of ‘ take a step back and think about what the last year has been like’…it is nice to see fans in the stands…it’s nice to be back in that environment…it’s what you want to see, it’s part of what makes sports fun.”
Due to changing protocols, the Celtics have been getting back to having practices, which is a recent change. “We’ve had some good practices…we’ve continued that trend which is what you want when you’re a part of a team,” said Stevens. “Our guys have certainly been very engaged…we’ve got to be a lot better on the other end.”
With full arenas and masks no longer required for coaches, on-court communications between coaches and their players is sure to change and improve to a point. “I think it’s easier for whatever reason,” admitted Stevens. “To communicate with a bunch of people in there and no mask, than with no people and a mask…it was just tough to communicate at times…from an offensive standpoint most teams use hand signals, use verbal queues… guys by the end of the year are reading lips…I think that it’s clearly different from the bubble…it’s helpful to not have the mask.”
On how the Celtics performed in game one, Stevens said “I felt really good about how we needed to play…we weren’t as good offensively…any time you’re in a playoff series I think it’s really important to anticipate what they might do differently…I thought we played good defense…we have to be way better offensively…not a lot of people talk about their [Nets] weak side movement.”
On Jaylen Brown and his presence with the team as he recovers from surgery, Stevens said “He’s around so that’s good… I think he’s going through all of his, whatever he can do, which is minimal… he’s like that, he wants to be around.”\
On Rob Williams and his turf toe situation, Stevens offered a brief update. “Rob’s doing pretty well, we’re trying to keep him off his feet as much as possible…went through more of the walkthrough portion of practice…should be ready to go tomorrow.”