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The Brad Stevens thread - is he the NBA's best coach?

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by DeJesus Built My Hotrod, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. bakahump

    bakahump Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think the problem is "Absolutism" on the part of the board. And probably rightfully so.
    (I know I am guilty of it).
    When you (or I) Write "I would do this before anything else" we as a board tend to say "REALLY?! On a Saturday morning you would make a cup of coffee before banging Emily Ratajkowski? Your Nuts!"

    While in everyday life you might make a cup of coffee before anything else (the paper, espn, maybe even banging the wife etc etc) there are certain things (Exiting the burning building, checking Schefter during NFL Free Agency, computing Mookies new OPS) that you would do before anything else.

    So Would I take Stevens before a top 10 NBA player? Probably not. I say probably because personal feelings do come into play (I would get coffee before Ratajkowski too....and I drink Decaf). So like Lebron....I really dislike the basketball player, even if he would instantly vault my team into the top 4 in the league and even if he is a good humanitarian. Durant? Yea I would take him over Stevens (even if he is non alpha bandwagon jumper).

    Would I take Stevens over a non starting 5 player in the NBA? No doubt (and thats actually a majority of NBA Players. around 60-66% if my math is right). I would also probably take him over the 4th or 5th best starters (regardless of position) on every team (Maybe not GS or Bos...maybe.) But there are obvious exceptions. And those exceptions only prove the point. Its not an insult to Stevens to say I would Rather have Giannis. Its a testament that you need players that are that damn good before you turn Stevens down.

    A better question might be what coach would you rather have? Pop? even through you probably only have him for another 3 years or so due to age? Who else?
     
  2. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    I think you’re vastly overrating the average top 3 starter when considering the entire league. I’d take Stephens over 66% of the All star rosters.
     
  3. bakahump

    bakahump Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Maybe so. And thats fine, too.

    My point was taking a coach like Stevens over a player isnt that far fetched, With only the very best players not a fair trade.

    We dont have to mean EVERY Player (even the ones you know you wouldnt trade a coach for) juts Almost all Players.

    I am not sure of the original qoute. But if it was "I would take Stevens over NBA player" reeked of hyperbole. and Anyone reading that should know better then to assume that if it was Lebron or Giannas.

    A simple "I agree with only the truly elite guys not a fair comp for what Stevens adds" would have saved alot of bandwidth.
     
  4. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    I think that a lot of it really depends on what kind of team you have. KC Jones gets credit for his years basically staying out of the way and only whacking guys around when they needed it, which wasn't often. A young team needs a mentor, part-time parent, teacher, and motivator. I think that a guy like Stevens would have incredible value with a roster like Denver, Phoenix, this team of course, and a few others. But he doesn't move the needle much, when you're talking about a Houston or Golden State. Most NBA coaches could coach rosters like that, and the coach bringing along young guys is less pertinent. They don't have a lot of young guys and already have a ton of vets to do it.

    Comparing Stevens to Giannis in a vacuum is fun and all, but more important is what having Giannis or Stevens on this team for the next five years would do to this team's title chances for the next five years. And if you think, "duh, Giannis", how far do you have to go down the players list before that answer gets murky.
     
  5. JakeRae

    JakeRae Member SoSH Member

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    This isn't really a counterpoint, as, obviously a lot has changed and the team was pretty young then, but it is worth remembering that the only significant difference between the Warriors team that won 51 games in 2014/15 and lost in the first round of the playoffs and the dominant Warriors team the following year that won 67 games and a championship was the addition of Steve Kerr. (The most significant additions were Livingston and Barbosa. David Lee played a lot less and Draymond Green played a lot more, but that is part of coaching. Draymond was already a defensive force, Jackson just either didn't understand that or didn't know how to use him properly.)

    A counterpoint might be that Jackson was just a really bad coach, and that is certainly part of the equation, but good coaching also undeniably matters. With the Warriors now, it may matter less, but that's largely just because a good coach has already built a system around their talent and someone else could, presumably, come in and coast off that without too much difficulty.
     
  6. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

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    On the other hand Kyrie Irving played better last year in Boston as the focal point of opposing defenses than he had in Cleveland when teams couldn’t give him that sort of attention.

    Stevens has been effective at talking players into being the best versions of themselves. And I think that has a lot of value.
     
  7. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    Agreed. Brad gets the most out of his players' skills, puts them in the best position to succeed, and they seem to buy into their roles.

    I'm not sure if it makes sense to compare NBA players (top 10) vs. Brad, but I'd add a few things in Brad's favor:
    1. Brad's salary is low relative to a well-paid/max player
    2. Brad's salary doesn't count towards the cap and lets the team add more player talent
    3. Brad gets better with age relative to a player (except Lebron) and could effectively coach for 20yrs.
    4. Good players/free agents are interested in playing for a well coached/run organization.
    5. Brad is involved in decision making for 48mins/game for the entire regular season + playoffs.
    6. Injury risk/health issues is much lower for a coach vs a star player.

    If I'm the owner of a new expansion team starting with a blank slate I may value signing Brad Stevens over any player.
     
  8. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Great post as usual except one small quibble - and its debatable. I dont think Jackson was a bad coach per se. He was good at getting young players like Curry, Thompson and even Green acclimated to playing in the NBA. Furthermore, his preacher and "us vs the world" approach was integral to crystalizing the Warriors core. The problem is that he isn't very good at Xs and Os and even worse at working within an organizational framework.

    This leads me to a larger point - coaches who possess an wide range of high level skills are rare in sports, let alone the NBA. In addition to having to motivate young men who are often wealthier and potentially more powerful than they are, coaches have to act as team spokesmen, middle management and, of course, field generals. Many good coaches are good at one or two facets of the job. However the number who tick all the boxes are probably in the single digits (and even then its debatable). I am biased but I think Stevens is best of breed in the ones we know about and its probably safe to assume Ainge/Wyc et al see him as a good middle manager given the commitment they have made to him.

    benhogan and JakeRae are right too. A good coach is more valuable in certain situations versus others. But we have seen plenty of examples where seemingly very good teams underperform their talent (see the Raptors, OKC or even the recent Clippers teams) while lesser talented teams exceed expectations (see last year's Jazz).

    In short, while on-the-court talent reigns supreme in the NBA, the value of a great coach may be discounted a bit too much by some pundits and fans. Fortunately the Celtics appear to have both a wealth of talent and good coaching in abundance for the upcoming season.
     
  9. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    I always thought an interesting way to look at it would be to see if you would trade Stevens for "star player" + their coach.

    Stevens for Giannis + Budenholzer
    Stevens for Davis + Gentry
    Stevens for Curry + Kerr
    Stevens for Towns + Thibs

    And how far down on the top player list do you have to get to factor in the coach
     
  10. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    Maybe that's a better way of looking at it.

    A huge part of the benefit of having the #1 or #1A Head Coach in the NBA is he doesn't impact the Celtics salary cap structure.

    So using your suggestion Moops, the Celtics would have to lose a current player(s) to match up salaries. Who are you subtracting from the Celtics roster?

    Marcus/Marcus/Baynes/Stevens for Giannis/Budenholzer would lead to several banners.

    The thought of Stevens coaching anywhere else saddens me more then Giannis wearing Green makes me happy. Clearly, Brad is my binky.
     
    #410 benhogan, Aug 25, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  11. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    I'm very much on team Brad, but one other advantage of taking the star player, if you have an elite GM, is that you can then turn that player into other assets on the backend of their tenure. This mitigates some of the benefit of Brad's much longer shelf life.
     
  12. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    I think the shift to shorter max length deals, the inclusion of opt outs in most star level players' deals and lessons learned from deals like Garnett/Pierce has pretty much eliminated that premise except in pretty rare cases.
     
  13. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I get the distinct feeling that Danny cut this particular Gordian Knot by grabbing a coach he knew would be great with young guys and drafted and made acquisitions around him with an eye to holistic development and is just growing a juggernaut organically from the ground up.

    This is like how Doomsday was evolved to defeat Superman.
     
  14. TripleOT

    TripleOT Member SoSH Member

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    I'd take any of these trades if I ran the Celtics. I would immediately fire Gentry, and take a long look at Paul Pierce as head coach, with two solid assistants, like Bird had in Indiana.
     
  15. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    Brown then admitted to not having spoken with Stevens about his spot in the rotation, but did say that he’s committed to positively impacting the team and helping them continue along with the momentum they’ve built in his absence.

    “I haven’t talked to Brad or anybody else, but however we can keep this going—playing the right way and continuing to win—I’m 100 percent for it.”



    Why is Brad leaving it up to Jaylen to figure this out? He knows the Boston media is going to hound Brown about starting. Brad's had 5 days since the last game, he should talk to the kid. I'm a huge Brad fan, but he has me scratching my head a few times this season.

    https://celticswire.usatoday.com/20...-that-he-would-willingly-accept-a-bench-role/
     
  16. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Not too concerned about this. If Brown;s comment is an accurate indication of where he stands, then everything seems fine.
     
  17. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    He knows Jaylen better than we do. It's possible he decided that Jaylen needs to feel that he reached the conclusion himself.
     
  18. BillMuellerFanClub

    BillMuellerFanClub Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Both Danny and Brad have been on the same page in public about the absurdity of the 'starting' designation, and that the combinations used to start games will continue to be varied throughout the rest of the year as they experiment with groupings. These guys should be playing hard and earning a spot closing games. Thus, I think Brad's attention, or lack thereof, to confirming with Jaylen his starting status is a signal of that.
     
  19. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    That doesn't mean the young players and their agents and those chirping in their ear feel it is absurd.
     
  20. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    This does a disservice to Jaylen Brown the person. Not your average young guy. I'm not sure he even has an agent.
     
  21. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    As Jimmy Butler said about Jaylen in an interview this summer, "Sometimes Jaylen is too smart for his own good."

    This comes from someone who knows Jaylen.
     
  22. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    What Jimmy thinks is for Jaylen's own good may be completely different from what Jaylen thinks is for Jaylen's own good. IE, starting vs. coming off the bench for the betterment of the team.
     
  23. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    And Butler very recently came out as a bit of a fruit loop in his own Minnesota situation. However much one might appreciate his competitive nature, his behavior was downright weird. I hope that Jaylen is taking Jimmy's feedback with an appropriate amount of salt.
     
  24. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    I would hope that Jaylen Brown is smart enough to realize that Jimmy Butler has neither Brown's or the Celtics' interests at heart when he says things.
     
  25. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    You don't think it is in Jaylen's best interest to be starting and putting up numbers compared to the alternatives mentioned? If Jaylen feels otherwise then he better hurry up and hire representation to properly guide him.
     
  26. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    Agreed Danny and Brad may feel "who starts" is absurd but the Media will make it an issue and hound Jaylen. And HRB makes a good point about his reps/advisors having Jaylen's ear.

    Its been forever since the Celtics have played and maybe Brad or an Asst Coach could have had a 5-minute talk with Jaylen. Jeesh. Something like "we're going to slowly work you back from the bench to see how your back reacts OR just come off the bench and dominate as Gordon did recently OR help us win with the 2nd rotation OR we plan on starting you in a few weeks OR whatever..." but nothing???

    Sorry but I expect some communication between a key young player/starter that was clearly struggling with his game/confidence and the coaching staff (BTW Jaylen made a point to say he didn't hear from "Brad or anybody else")
     
  27. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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  28. chilidawg

    chilidawg Member SoSH Member

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    If the guys writing checks are doing it on the basis of players "putting up numbers", then they ought to be fired.
     
  29. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    very fair point
     
  30. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    I don't even know where to begin with this. If Jaylen heads into FA as a reserve complementary player he (or hopefully for him he'll have an agent by then) will bring to the negotiating table evidence that he's......a reserve complementary player and he'll be paid accordingly using similar comps. If he starts and "puts up numbers" he'll bring to the table evidence that he's a starter in this league capable of putting up numbers......and be paid accordingly using similar comps. Who gets paid in this league......reserve complementary players or starters who put up numbers?

    Having said that, he looked great tonight even though it was against the Knicks in a 20+ win that was a double digit game throughout.
     
  31. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Do you really believe that a player like Brown will be penalized for "reserve complimentary numbers" versus "starter numbers" in today's NBA? Maybe 20 years ago but I think there are enough shrewd NBA front-offices who would jump at a chance to add a potential plus three-and-D wing with upside to their roster and would pay a premium to do so. Paying players for what they did in the past is bad business in any sport but most NBA teams have shed those sorts of GMs anyhow.

    Brown is going to have a healthy market regardless of how his numbers look.
     
  32. BigSoxFan

    BigSoxFan Member SoSH Member

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    Brown is going to have a healthy market. If he spends the next 2 years coming off the bench (note: I don’t believe this will happen), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that he could lose some money on his next deal.
     
  33. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    He will have a healthy market, but he would stand a far greater chance of fetching more money if he was putting up 20 points as a starter than 12 as a reserve. Doesn't mean that he couldn't get paid as a reserve, but the chances are much better of grabbing a max offer if he had already shown his starter potential
     
  34. HowBoutDemSox

    HowBoutDemSox Member SoSH Member

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    Harden started all of seven games in three years with OKC, that didn’t stop Morey from trading for him and signing him to an $80 million extension. Brown isn’t Harden, but simply coming off the bench isn’t going to be held against him if he’s showing his true talent out there.
     
  35. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Agreed. The point is that Brown is a solid defender who can create for himself on occasion and has shown flashes of being a decent shooter from behind the arc. However he is a relatively poor FT shooter and his overall offensive game has some glaring holes. Regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench, he is going to need to hit his open looks from deep at a consistent level and be able to improve his midrange game to increase his value. Until that happens, his market is going to be good but the upside is limited, starter or not.
     

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