With only five games remaining in the NBA season the Celtics have 53 wins 24 losses. They have one of the top playoff spots locked up and have seven wins in their last ten games. This season has not gone as smoothly for the Celtics as the standings would indicate. Brad Stevens has been the Head Coach for the Celtics for the past five seasons, and this season may have been his best. Less than a quarter into the first game, the Celtics lost Gordon Hayward to a gruesome injury. He was supposed to form a new big three in Boston along side Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. That is not the only injury Stevens has had to deal with.
In terms of injuries, the Celtics have been the unluckiest team in the league, which makes their record and Stevens work this season all more impressive. The Celtics also lost Key bench player Daniel Theis to a season ending injury. Marcus Smart and Kyrie Irving will be out until the second round of the playoffs, assuming the Celtics advance that far. Stevens has had to mix and match his lineups and rely on his young players. Even without Smart and Irving, the Celtics have won six straight games. Those wins have come against teams such as the Trail Blazers, Thunder, and Raptors. Those are not easy teams to beat, especially when you’re missing two all-stars and two key bench players. That hasn’t stopped Stevens from keeping his team focused.
Since Stevens became the Head Coach of the Celtics, their record has improved every year. Other than the 2013 season, the Celtics have been contenders and Stevens has become one of the best coaches in the league. He has gotten the best out of his players and his Celtics teams have overachieved. This year was supposed to be different. The Celtics were supposed to challenge the Cavs with a new big three, but they have still overachieved. With all these injuries, the Celtics have had to rely on their younger players such as rookie Jayson Tatum and fellow first round picks Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. These young players have thrived, and Tatum has carried this team at times, which is rare for a rookie.
Stevens has again showed that despite injuries, he is still able to get the best out of his players. Stevens has been endorsed by his own players. Jaylen Brown said, “But Brad, I think he’s coach of the year. He’ll figure out a scheme to make everything flow the way it normally flows.” Brown may be biased in this case, but it also shows how much trust players have in him. The voting will not be for a while and their will be many debates on who should win Coach of the year. Stevens has a good case to win the award, and if the injury depleted Celtics continue to win, Stevens case only improves.