Brad Stevens named Celtics head coach

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Major Offense

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On the other hand, as Allen Iverson pointed out, that's probably a more time than NBA teams spend substantively practicing.


Awesome.

Great explanation - thanks for that. So practice-wise, probably screwed, but there's a chance that, over time, his prep for players/teams will actually be better than what he was able to do in college. Similar number of teams, longer season, more tape on players/teams, and the massive amount of data tracking he alludes to in the SI article. Not that prep necessarily translates to success or good coaching, but there's some hope that that part of his skillset will translate well to the pro game.
 

lexrageorge

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Rudy Pemberton said:
 
This may be true, but when you're a college coach- you are coaching players you recruited, guys who are likely to buy into the system b/c they chose to play for you, and basicaly don't have any other options if they want to play. That's quite a bit different than the cast of characters Stevens has inherited. Getting Gerald Wallace or Kris Humphries, guys already making $10M+ per, to play hard for you for the chance to win 25 games instead of 22...well, good luck. Especially when there's a pretty good chance many of the veterans, who have a lot more experience in the league than Stevens, may be skeptical of him. I'd like to think that this is the right group of veterans, guys who will at least play hard, but who the hell knows. 
My guess is that Ainge is going to side with Stevens if the players start grumbling.  Ainge will have the chance to replace the roster starting next offseason as those salaries come off the books one by one.  The time horizon for Stevens will be longer than just this one season.   
 

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Rudy Pemberton said:
 
This may be true, but when you're a college coach- you are coaching players you recruited, guys who are likely to buy into the system b/c they chose to play for you, and basicaly don't have any other options if they want to play. That's quite a bit different than the cast of characters Stevens has inherited. Getting Gerald Wallace or Kris Humphries, guys already making $10M+ per, to play hard for you for the chance to win 25 games instead of 22...well, good luck. Especially when there's a pretty good chance many of the veterans, who have a lot more experience in the league than Stevens, may be skeptical of him. I'd like to think that this is the right group of veterans, guys who will at least play hard, but who the hell knows. 
The bigger problem (or as big) is that these veterans know they trade fodder and not committed long term to the Boston Celtics. There isn't a whole lot some of these guys are going to buy into.....and even if they did we're talking about some real average NBA talent on a good day.
 

wutang112878

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The issues around getting a group of misfits to play for you isnt specific to Stevens though, it was an issue any coach was going to have here.  Take Doc, he was great in Orlando until the end, he was great here when the misfits were young players who could be moved at any time, and he was great when he had KG to police the team, but its unclear if even Doc could have got this group of misfits to play the right way.
 
In the next few years we dont want this team to reach its win potential anyway.  The Stevens specific question is if can he establish himself as a quality NBA coach while the team isnt good and doesnt have the right mix of professional or young coach-able players.  If he focuses on player development and showcases the players who wont be here for long and doesnt prioritize winning he should be ok.  Its actually very similar to what Doc did here when he was developing Perk, Big Al, Delonte group.  That was also before Doc was a title winning coach, when he was still washing the fired after 11 games in Orlando stink off of him, so this type of issue really is a recent one for the Celts.  Fortunately we have Danny who was a big supporter of Docs at that time as well, so I would imagine he will do that again for the coach he just gave a 6 year contract to.
 

TheRooster

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One of the keys for Stevens, as it is for any coach, it to find the key 3-4 guys he needs to win over.  I have long believed that was Doc's biggest strength.  I'm cautiously optimistic that Stevens will get that based on his reputation for humility and his understated style.  Pitino and Calipari think they are the story, whereas Doc was 100% content to call it KG, Pierce and Allen's team.  I suspect Stevens will focus on Rondo, Sullinger and KO and maybe a guy like Wallace and assume the rest will follow along or be jettisoned.
 

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wutang112878 said:
The issues around getting a group of misfits to play for you isnt specific to Stevens though, it was an issue any coach was going to have here.  Take Doc, he was great in Orlando until the end, he was great here when the misfits were young players who could be moved at any time, and he was great when he had KG to police the team, but its unclear if even Doc could have got this group of misfits to play the right way.
 
In the next few years we dont want this team to reach its win potential anyway.  The Stevens specific question is if can he establish himself as a quality NBA coach while the team isnt good and doesnt have the right mix of professional or young coach-able players.  If he focuses on player development and showcases the players who wont be here for long and doesnt prioritize winning he should be ok.  Its actually very similar to what Doc did here when he was developing Perk, Big Al, Delonte group.  That was also before Doc was a title winning coach, when he was still washing the fired after 11 games in Orlando stink off of him, so this type of issue really is a recent one for the Celts.  Fortunately we have Danny who was a big supporter of Docs at that time as well, so I would imagine he will do that again for the coach he just gave a 6 year contract to.
I agree with this for the most part. How successful would Doc have been had KG been maintained his stance on being adamant on refusing to come to Boston even with Ray Allen in tow?

The NBA is a players league.....unless Ainge makes a similar play to bring in multiple All-Star players all the scouting and prep in the world isn't going to overcome your talent disparity.

I think long term that Stevens will be a fine NBA coach which equates to having a nice backup forward on your roster. Rarely will this person be a difference maker without a lot of help from your stars.
 

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HomeRunBaker said:
I agree with this for the most part. How successful would Doc have been had KG been maintained his stance on being adamant on refusing to come to Boston even with Ray Allen in tow?

The NBA is a players league.....unless Ainge makes a similar play to bring in multiple All-Star players all the scouting and prep in the world isn't going to overcome your talent disparity.

I think long term that Stevens will be a fine NBA coach which equates to having a nice backup forward on your roster. Rarely will this person be a difference maker without a lot of help from your stars.
 
Exactly right.  I know we all worship at the altar of statistics here on SOSH, but there is no analytics magic bullet out there that is going to turn this roster into a playoff team, or even close.  Maybe there is some tweaking around the margins involving lineup combinations or strategy that can make it a 32-win team instead of a 30-win team.  That's what we're talking about.  This isn't 'Hoosiers' or even Butler University.  No matter what Stevens says or does, he is not going to get run-through-a-brick-wall level buy-in from a group of misfit toys that know they're involuntarily stuck on a lottery-bound team.
 

wutang112878

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This might not be an analytics magic bullet, but this is going to significantly change the use and effectiveness of analytics in basketball.  Bold prediction, we are going to be very happy that we have a progressive coach once this data is readily available.

 
 
The NBA announced Thursday that it will install motion-tracking cameras in every arena this season to provide coaches, players and fans reams of data aimed at pulling back the curtain on what it takes to succeed at basketball's highest level.

Want to see how successful Ricky Rubio was at guarding Russell Westbrook? The system could break down the shooting percentages and results of each head-to-head possession.

Want to get an idea how close to 100 percent Kevin Love was in his first few games back from a broken hand? The system could send information to the team trainers and doctors about his endurance and how quickly he is tiring during a game, thereby painting the most accurate picture possible of his recovery.

Want to see how many times Al Jefferson touched the ball on the left block in the first half? The system could send information to an iPad that showed the location of every one of his possessions and allowed coaches to make adjustments on the fly.
 
 
Previously, this all had to be tracked by hand and teams really only could analyze this at the macro level 'I think Al is hurting us in the left block', now this can be taken a step further 'what is their FG% when Al touches the ball in the left block, and what is it when he is doubled to deny the touch on the left block'
 
This certainly isnt going to allow Stevens coaching ability to make up for a lack of talent, but its going to facilitate more information and analysis to best utilize the talent that is available, and if other teams arent doing this it will be, even though its slight, a competitive advantage for us.  This wont help all that much during rebuilding, but once we are back on top if it saves or gains us 3 points in a game that could be huge!
 
 
Sidenote, I cant believe the NBA is actually doing something this advanced, its really ground breaking.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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wutang112878 said:
This might not be an analytics magic bullet, but this is going to significantly change the use and effectiveness of analytics in basketball.  Bold prediction, we are going to be very happy that we have a progressive coach once this data is readily available.
 
 
Previously, this all had to be tracked by hand and teams really only could analyze this at the macro level 'I think Al is hurting us in the left block', now this can be taken a step further 'what is their FG% when Al touches the ball in the left block, and what is it when he is doubled to deny the touch on the left block'
 
This certainly isnt going to allow Stevens coaching ability to make up for a lack of talent, but its going to facilitate more information and analysis to best utilize the talent that is available, and if other teams arent doing this it will be, even though its slight, a competitive advantage for us.  This wont help all that much during rebuilding, but once we are back on top if it saves or gains us 3 points in a game that could be huge!
 
 
Sidenote, I cant believe the NBA is actually doing something this advanced, its really ground breaking.
 
For what it's worth, this data was already available in about half of arenas, and teams have been using it for a couple of years now. The data was incomplete, but there was still a substantial data set to draw from, and I think the majority of teams have an analytics team whose job it is to present this data to the coaching staff. What the coaching staff does with it is another question, but I don't think the Celtics are significantly ahead of the game or anything, and a willingess to utilize this sort of data is fast becoming a pre-requisite to being an NBA coach. The Grizzlies, for instance, moved on from Hollins for exactly that reason. Here's a really great article about how the Raptors use the data: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9068903/the-toronto-raptors-sportvu-cameras-nba-analytical-revolution.
 

Blacken

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That article is very incomplete. It's a lot more flexible than what they're showing.
 

wutang112878

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Grin&MartyBarret said:
 
What the coaching staff does with it is another question, but I don't think the Celtics are significantly ahead of the game or anything, and a willingess to utilize this sort of data is fast becoming a pre-requisite to being an NBA coach. The Grizzlies, for instance, moved on from Hollins for exactly that reason.
 
I just dont think many coaching staffs have been using this to find the minor inefficiencies in their strategy which when added up can result in a relatively significant couple points a game difference.  Thats where I think Stevens will take the Celts because in terms of embracing and using this data I think he will be ahead of the overall curve.  Its somewhat similar to what he did using some advanced stats in college, this just takes it to another level which is why I am so optimistic.
 
I remember reading that Raptors article, but somehow with my excellent reading skills I missed the fact that 15 teams had it, I thought it was only the Raptors that were using it.  Thanks for pointing that out.
 

Blacken

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The Celtics aren't ahead of the curve. You can make shit up as much as you'd like but they're simply not.
 

DJnVa

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Blacken said:
The Celtics aren't ahead of the curve. You can make shit up as much as you'd like but they're simply not.
 
In fairness to Wutang (a sentence I always wanted to type) he's not saying they are. He's saying they will be.
 
Obviously, YMMV. And does.
 

wutang112878

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Thats where I think Stevens will take the Celts
 
 
Thanks for correcting my conjecture because you must have complete information about what going to happen behind the scenes by a coaching staff that hasnt coached a single NBA game yet
 

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Blacken said:
The Celtics aren't ahead of the curve. You can make shit up as much as you'd like but they're simply not.
The Celtics are keeping up with the curve not getting ahead of it. It's always been a copycat league and a game of cat and mouse. How long after Ainge gathered The Big Three and won a Championship did it take for teams to look to assemble their own version of three key players? It began the next offseason and grew from there leading up to LeBron, Wade and Bosh.
 

Major Offense

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Yeah, no one ever thought of getting three good players on the same team until Danny Ainge came along.


Yeah, but at least he came up with the nickname Big Thr...oh, right.

In fairness, it's a good point that analytics isn't some secret weapon. It's probably like baseball where every FO has at least some folks crunching numbers and putting that info in the hands of the coaching staff.

Of course the team may benefit from Stevens incorporating that info so thoroughly into his planning. I mean, Farrell seems to really understand how to use the stuff he gets, whereas BV apparently treated it as so many sheets of toilet paper...
 

Blacken

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No, not every FO has folks crunching numbers. Some have literally no APBR-type analytics. Others contract it out, to varying degrees of usefulness. Maybe two-thirds of the league have something, but whether or not it's effective is anyone's guess. Most also lack the technical knowledge necessary to leverage the data they're collecting. Toronto is leading the pack or is close to it (I can't say for sure), but dealing with SportVU in a meaningful way is definitely beyond most of their capabilities right now.
 

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"Univac!  It's been a great training camp and we're setting the rotation.  Run the numbers.  Start with the optimal minutes distribution for the forwards"
 
Hums, clatters....punch card shoots out of a slot 
 
"Forward:  LeBron James?  Listen, Univac, let's re-calibrate.  From the current Boston Celtics roster.  Gimme that sweet, sweet analytic edge."
 
Buzzz, clicks...punch card appears.
 
"Kris Humphries.  OK, we'll start him.  What is his optimal usage pattern?"
 
Clinks, whirs...punch-card gets stuck in slot.  Brad pulls it out
 
"Optimal Usage Pattern:  Bench.  What the hell?  We've got to work with what we've got.  Looking at prior NBA experience and the sets we ran in the preseason, let's squeeze out a few extra points out of this crew."
 
Univac falls silent for a moment. Then emits a high-pitched squeal.
 
"stevens unit request does not compute trade gerald wallace for paul pierce"
 
"Paul Pierce is not walk--"
 
"eliminate jeff green for insurance money"
 
"No!  Just focus on our current players.  Tell me how to make the most of what we've got.  Sullinger on the block and a shooter on the opposite wing?"
 
"incomplete data  name shooter"
 
"Ummmm...Marshon Brooks?" 
 
"incomplete data name shooter"
 
"Just run it with Sullinger and Brooks on the floor at the same time.  How does that combination look?"
 
"calculating projected points per possession to be popcorn vendor hit with errant pass"
 
"Gosh. Ok, try Courtney Lee feeding Brandon Bass in the high post."
 
"schedule salute to 1986 team on that night"
 
"But that's every night. Every night I've got to play Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass. What's the best case scenario?"
 
"#NULL!#NULL!#NULL!#NULL!#NULL!"
 

HomeRunBaker

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All you have to know about the importance of having an analytical edge in the NBA is that the Toronto Raptors with their head scratching roster balance and 79-151 record over the past three seasons are at the forefront of it LOL!

Well that and one of a popular metrics conference report on "The Dwight Effect" which essentially states that teams attempt fewer FGA at the rim with Dwight Howard in the game than when he isn't. Wow thank you for that insightful analysis can I now have the last 20 minutes of my life back thank you!

Look I'm not anti-progressive or anything. Shit I did some work with Roland over at 82games a decade ago so I understand what is important. My issue is with those being overly aggressive in attempting to analyze this game like it is baseball. Many times, unlike baseball, it is counter-productive or worthless noise.

Edit: Here's some stuff I'm talking about. A guy like Shane Battier totally buys into advanced metrics and is able to utilize them to his advantage on the floor. How many NBA players are insightful and articulate enough to prepare at this level? I'm guessing not many. This is the problem I have with Stevens (and others) making as great an impact as their knowledge leads one to believe they should. This is how one describes an example of a report this one on Kobe:

"The data essentially broke down the floor into many discreet zones and calculated the odds of how many shots Kobe would make from different areas on the court, under different degrees of defensive pressure, in different relationships to other players - how well he scored off screens, pick and rolls, off catch and shoots and so on."

Now this is meaningful information that can be applied to defending the high volume iso players that you see in the same situation repeatedly. The Kobe's, Durants, LeBrons, etc will adapt to how the defense uses this data and utilize their massive talent advantage in doing so. Others such as say Gay, DeRozan, Jordan Crawdord, etc are not as likely to have this ability to adapt IF this data is used. Much of the time with the NBA schedule and travel demands as it is there is not time to prepare for this data to be best utilized. Coaches must balance practice/professional time with personal space or else they will lose the players.

Basketball players are trained to react on the floor....not trained to think. Few have the ability to think quickly enough to do so effectively.....someone like a Battier. My problem with much of this data being useful is that you are forcing individuals to act in a manner that will not allow them to be as effective otherwise. You must devise a way to take the data and put it in a simpler form to be effective......otherwise you are looking at a perpetual lottery team like the Toronto Raptors as the poster child to advanced analytics which really isn't a productive way to use this data.
 

Blacken

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The Raptors are not "the poster child" for APBR metrics. They're the ones talking to Zach Lowe. "The poster child" for APBR metrics would be the Dallas Mavericks (as evidenced by the people they keep on staff and as consultants), but they, rightly, don't talk about it because it's a competitive advantage. It's harder to hurfdurf about how stupid it is when one of those teams won a Finals two years ago, though.

Trying to base the current state of things off of a five-year-old NYT article and one Grantland article isn't going to get you far. Don't let that stop you from showing everyone your asshole, though.
 

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HRB's right about one thing, you have to have players that can absorb and use the info. Which is why I think Rondo won't be going anywhere. I think he and Stevens are a good match style wise. I think the team they're going to assemble will play to Rondo's ability to distribute. He's gonna be the on floor assistant coach.

PS - This is idle speculation of course.
 

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Montana Fan said:
HRB's right about one thing, you have to have players that can absorb and use the info.
This in a nutshell was my entire point aside from the rest of my rant. All the data in the world is awesome but useless unless it can be properly applied.
 

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HomeRunBaker said:
This in a nutshell was my entire point aside from the rest of my rant. All the data in the world is awesome but useless unless it can be properly applied.
 
I have confidence he will learn how best to implement his strategies in the NBA.  May take a season for Stevens to figure it out, with a few bumps in the road, but thats what this year is for right?
 
I have no problem with Stevens trying to learn as much as possible himself, the key is deciding what to share with the players.  You can't give them 100 random facts about how to defend or attack every player on the other team.  Basketball can't be played like that.  
 
But after studying the opponent, hopefully Stevens can boil what he's learned down to a few key principles that will help against each individual opponent. He may know a ton of different strategies that tend to decrease a particular opponent's field goal percentage by a few percentage points. But if he knows one that will decrease it by 5%, that's the one he has to hammer home.  
 
Can't become too bogged down in the details, especially with an 82 game season and a bunch of NBA players who may or may not be so interested in listening to him anyway.
 

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radsoxfan said:
You can't give them 100 random facts about how to defend or attack every player on the other team.  Basketball can't be played like that.
I wouldn't assume this, if I were you.

And I think it's more like 10-15, not 100, per game. There are ways to train that sort of recall in ways that would be approachable to the average NBA player, especially in an age of iPhones and iPads in everybody's hands.
 

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radsoxfan said:
 
I have confidence he will learn how best to implement his strategies in the NBA.  May take a season for Stevens to figure it out, with a few bumps in the road, but thats what this year is for right?
 
I have no problem with Stevens trying to learn as much as possible himself, the key is deciding what to share with the players.  You can't give them 100 random facts about how to defend or attack every player on the other team.  Basketball can't be played like that.  
 
But after studying the opponent, hopefully Stevens can boil what he's learned down to a few key principles that will help against each individual opponent. He may know a ton of different strategies that tend to decrease a particular opponent's field goal percentage by a few percentage points. But if he knows one that will decrease it by 5%, that's the one he has to hammer home.  
 
Can't become too bogged down in the details, especially with an 82 game season and a bunch of NBA players who may or may not be so interested in listening to him anyway.
Yeah I agree that Stevens will be a good coach as I mentioned previously. Good coaches stick around in this league and i believe that Stevens will be successful. The thought that a coach is going to come in and be a difference maker in the NBA is a position that i disagree with pretty strongly however. If Stevens, or any coach for that matter, were thought of to have this strong an impact there would be multiple teams lined up to offer him much more than 65% of Courtney Lee's annual salary that the Celtics are paying him.
 

radsoxfan

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Blacken said:
I wouldn't assume this, if I were you.And I think it's more like 10-15, not 100, per game. There are ways to train that sort of recall in ways that would be approachable to the average NBA player, especially in an age of iPhones and iPads in everybody's hands.
Which part should I not assume? That NBA players won't be receptive? I think some (maybe most?) will be, but not if he goes overboard and floods them with minute details for each game all season long.

I'm saying that if you dig deep enough, in theory a coach could come up with 100s of subtle ways his team could get a slight edge out on the court against a certain player or team.

But the challenge is distilling that down to a manageable number of useful coaching pointers to share with your team. Even if an NBA player was totally on board with the analytical approach, most can't play basketball while trying to keep track of that many things. It's still a game of reaction for the vast majority of these guys, as HRB alluded to.
 

wutang112878

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We need divide up this conversation a bit, because some points are valid but muddy the waters. 
 
Can an advantage from the use of analytics make up for a huge talent disparity?  Absolutely Not
Can the use of analytics provide an advantage.  Yes
 
Can all players comprehend, care about, process and react to advanced information like Shane Battier.  No
-  But a coach can use analytics to find 5 key pieces of strategy and communicate and coach those in a very streamlined approach to his players.  'Blitz all pick and rolls with Deron Williams and KG, but go under all other picks'
 
Thats where we have to draw a line in the sand with getting players to use the information, because they need the executive summary of the analysis, not the supporting detail.  You obviously cant tell them to calculate probabilities while they are on the court, but you can show them a chart of hot zones to demonstrate how they should prioritize shots.  You can show the 2s hot zones for the individuals they are going to guard. 
 
 
HomeRunBaker said:
The thought that a coach is going to come in and be a difference maker in the NBA is a position that i disagree with pretty strongly however. If Stevens, or any coach for that matter, were thought of to have this strong an impact there would be multiple teams lined up to offer him much more than 65% of Courtney Lee's annual salary that the Celtics are paying him.
 
This argument makes little sense.  In all 4 major professional sports coaches salaries are a fractions of the players, that doesnt mean the coaches cant make an impact.  Coaches arent going to make the impact that an AllStar will if thats what you are hoping for.  But why wouldnt we look for any and all ways to give us the best chance to win?  I really doubt that spandex padding stuff players wear really helps all that much, but if there is a chance it helps then I want them wearing it.
 

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wutang112878 said:
-  But a coach can use analytics to find 5 key pieces of strategy and communicate and coach those in a very streamlined approach to his players.  'Blitz all pick and rolls with Deron Williams and KG, but go under all other picks'
Sure this is the type of basic prep that has occurred in the league for years in the regular season. It didn't really sound like the super pro-Stevens crew is discussing this level of simplicity. If they were that is essentially how all NBA coaches prepare.
 
Thats where we have to draw a line in the sand with getting players to use the information, because they need the executive summary of the analysis, not the supporting detail.  You obviously cant tell them to calculate probabilities while they are on the court, but you can show them a chart of hot zones to demonstrate how they should prioritize shots.  You can show the 2s hot zones for the individuals they are going to guard.
I disagree with this. To receive buy-in from a player day in and day out they are going to want to know the why otherwise they will tune out the information and few players want that or will absorb this. In college yes you can prepare this way.....anyone who has attended an NBA game has observed how little attention the players pay to the coaches during timeouts much less hours prior to a game learning these reports then doing it again the following night.
 
 
 
This argument makes little sense.  In all 4 major professional sports coaches salaries are a fractions of the players, that doesnt mean the coaches cant make an impact.  Coaches arent going to make the impact that an AllStar will if thats what you are hoping for.  But why wouldnt we look for any and all ways to give us the best chance to win?  I really doubt that spandex padding stuff players wear really helps all that much, but if there is a chance it helps then I want them wearing it.
It depends on the sport and the unique fabric of the team. The NBA is the most star-dependent and player-dependent of the 4 majors.....this equates to the coaches having the lesser impact. Yes I agree we should look for every possible advantage but Doc Rivers lost a lot of games prior to Ainge pulling the KG deal and won a lot following the trade. Same coach....he didn't suddenly improve. As I said I feel Stevens will do well in this league meaning he will last greater than the 2-3 years of those who fail because i think he will adjust well enough. His level of success is still going to be dependent on his roster of players and their level of talent 1000x more than recognizing how Player X shoots off the dribble from the left elbow. Especially when most of our competitors will be preparing in a similar manner.....and that number is growing each year.
 

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HomeRunBaker said:
Sure this is the type of basic prep that has occurred in the league for years in the regular season. It didn't really sound like the super pro-Stevens crew is discussing this level of simplicity. If they were that is essentially how all NBA coaches prepare.
 
 
I am not really communicating it well, but I believe a coach that fully embraces advanced stats and the SportsVU can find small difference making strategies that others just cant see.  Its somewhat similar to some of the insights that a football outsiders finds.  From the sounds of it, it didnt seem this was something Doc was embracing.  And based on Stevens track record in college, it seems as though he is able to find this stuff.
 
 
HomeRunBaker said:
 
I disagree with this. To receive buy-in from a player day in and day out they are going to want to know the why otherwise they will tune out the information and few players want that or will absorb this. In college yes you can prepare this way.....anyone who has attended an NBA game has observed how little attention the players pay to the coaches during timeouts much less hours prior to a game learning these reports then doing it again the following night.
 
 
You cant have this coaching thing both ways.  You just said players barely pay attention during time outs, yet now they are suddenly fascinated by the whys behind the coaches strategy?  Either they are or are not interested in the details, and Stevens certainly can provide the details so it seems as though he is prepared to this.  For the players who just want to 'play' and not really learn, I think telling them what to do if it brings them success should be adequate.  I think we could shown Antoine his effective FG% in the post compared to his step back 3s a million ways, even taken out billboards in Waltham to get him to notice, I dont think it would have changed his behavior and I think that was a big reason Danny sent him packing.  We just need to find the right balance of talent and guys that get it.
 
 
HomeRunBaker said:
It depends on the sport and the unique fabric of the team. The NBA is the most star-dependent and player-dependent of the 4 majors.....this equates to the coaches having the lesser impact. Yes I agree we should look for every possible advantage but Doc Rivers lost a lot of games prior to Ainge pulling the KG deal and won a lot following the trade. Same coach....he didn't suddenly improve. As I said I feel Stevens will do well in this league meaning he will last greater than the 2-3 years of those who fail because i think he will adjust well enough. His level of success is still going to be dependent on his roster of players and their level of talent 1000x more than recognizing how Player X shoots off the dribble from the left elbow. Especially when most of our competitors will be preparing in a similar manner.....and that number is growing each year.
 
I am of the belief there are different types of coaches.  Doc demonstrated early in his tenure here that he could be a 'player developer' style of coach.  Then with the Big3 he proved he could be a 'manage egos, eliminate problems' type of coach, and while he was good at X and O stuff, that wasnt the strength of what he did.  Phil Jackson is another example of this.  To be a real special coach, you need to be a 'manage ego' type was well as a tactician type as well, I would put Popovich in that category.  I think Stevens is a tactician style of coach, what remains to be seen, but I am hopeful, is if he can also be an ego manager.  If he can do both, I think he can be better than Doc which when we have a full stable of horses again would mean he could be more important than Doc.  This is why I am so high on the guy.
 
We both agree that Stevens advanced analysis and strategy is going to be less important than the pedigree of his horses.  I guess I just think his saddle (advanced stuff) is more important than you do.  I feel like you just think 'whatever, you can ride bareback' whereas I think there is some advantage in the saddle to be had, and personally because its a new skill that would be brought to the organization thats pretty cool and something to be excited about.  Even though, lets face it, we arent really going to see, nor do we want to see this skill demonstrated for a couple of years.
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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I've always wondered if teams track assists that lead to an open/makeable shot (however you define that) even if the player misses it. Or passes that lead to a player being foul and getting 2 FTs. I'm sure it's done, I just wonder what the numbers look like.
 

luckiestman

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Rondo speaks about Stevens:
 
http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2013/10/rajon_rondos_favorite_book_rec.html
 
 
“Brad’s not really strict, he lets you go out there and play the game,” said Rondo. “He just wants you to play every possession extremely hard and I think that’s the way I approach the game. He has an offense … pretty much loaded with things – as far as pick and roll, getting the ball into the post – whoever has it going, that’s how he coaches the game. It’ll be fun to get back in, go out there and do a little bit of what I do best. A lot of pick and roll, getting to the paint, making my teammates better and making their job easier when I come back.”
Added Rondo, “He’s a great speaker, he gave a great halftime speech today. It’s going to be a process. It’s his first season, everybody’s new. But we don’t make excuses. We try to go out there and get the job done. We didn’t have a great preseason at all, but now it’s for real. We can’t make excuses but we will show up against Toronto. Guys are going to play extremely hard.”
 

wutang112878

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Anyone concerned about him not being a good coach ? Or have a tough transition from college ?


My man crush is killing it!!
 

Koufax

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He sucks at tanking.  Can he please suffer an injury that will keep him out for the year?  He and Rondo could maybe get into a car crash?  Nothing fatal, mind you.  Just a few broken bones that will heal up nicely by next summer.
 

dhellers

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Koufax said:
He sucks at tanking.  Can he please suffer an injury that will keep him out for the year?  He and Rondo could maybe get into a car crash?  Nothing fatal, mind you.  Just a few broken bones that will heal up nicely by next summer.
Shame on you for such thoughts! We should be meditating on the concept of the Celtics-as-buyers.
 
 What good is a surfeit of probably middling draft picks on a team with a young core (which is what the celtics are)?
 

wutang112878

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Lets not turn a good discussion of Stevens into a to tank or not to tank debate that we have over and over, its pointless and totally off topic
 

IdiotKicker

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I've been watching this season from a bit of a distance, since I didn't and still don't have high expectations for the team.  However, I did have very high hopes for Stevens based on what I had seen from him at Butler, and what I heard from him when he first took the job.  My thoughts on him now?
 
He's even better than I anticipated.  In terms of his overall leadership skills, he may have the strongest package I've ever seen.  I'm not talking about motivational speeches, Xs and Os, or roster management.  I'm talking simply about his ability to take a group of players, and get them closer towards the goal they are trying to achieve.  He has an absolutely incredible ability to be very smart, and yet very humble in a real way at the same time, and that combination is incredibly important to good leadership in any field.  I think John Farrell is very similar in terms of overall demeanor and tone, and I would put the two of them at the top as far as these skills go for Boston coaches.  Absolutely unbelievable job by him so far, and I'm very excited to see how he does the next few years.
 

dhellers

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Not sure if it is a total non-sequitir, but I always refer to a great Cotton Fitzsimmons quote (drat, spent 20 minutes googling but no hits, so I will probably mange it...)
 
"An NBA coach must remember that in college, you are talking to young men. In the NBA, you are talking to corporations".
 
Pitino wouldn't accept this. It seems that Stevens gets it.
 

wutang112878

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I think thats pretty important.  One of the first and most important challenges of a new NBA coach coming from college is gaining the respect of the players and getting them to listen.  There have been a lot of college to pro coaches that failed at that miserably.
 
I think its pretty impressive that thus far Stevens has done that, and shown that the he is more than capable of handling the X and Os of the NBA game.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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wutang112878 said:
I think thats pretty important.  One of the first and most important challenges of a new NBA coach coming from college is gaining the respect of the players and getting them to listen.  There have been a lot of college to pro coaches that failed at that miserably.
 
I think its pretty impressive that thus far Stevens has done that, and shown that the he is more than capable of handling the X and Os of the NBA game.
 
Honestly, I bet the Xs and Os are probably the easiest part about being an NBA coach.  There's only so many ways to play the game.  It's the managing of the people that has to be the most difficult part.
 

Brickowski

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wutang112878 said:
I think thats pretty important.  One of the first and most important challenges of a new NBA coach coming from college is gaining the respect of the players and getting them to listen.  There have been a lot of college to pro coaches that failed at that miserably.
 
I think its pretty impressive that thus far Stevens has done that, and shown that the he is more than capable of handling the X and Os of the NBA game.
 LOL, there have been a lot of seasoned pro coaches who have failed at that miserably.  And the fact that the players are willing to listen says something about them as well.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This article borders on hagiography:  http://nba.si.com/2013/12/10/brad-stevens-boston-celtics-the-fundamentals/.
 
From what I have been reading on the internet, we have the second coming of Red on our hands!
 
dhellers said:
Not sure if it is a total non-sequitir, but I always refer to a great Cotton Fitzsimmons quote (drat, spent 20 minutes googling but no hits, so I will probably mange it...)
 
"An NBA coach must remember that in college, you are talking to young men. In the NBA, you are talking to corporations".
 
Pitino wouldn't accept this. It seems that Stevens gets it.
 
While I mostly agree with your general point - in college, coaches have control but the NBA is a player's league - as a short aside, I find it difficult to believe that Cotton Fitzsimmons ever said this given the era in which he coached.
 
Still, here's an article that butresses your point:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/sports/ncaabasketball/from-college-to-nba-coaching-approaches-differ.html?_r=0
 

Jer

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Jul 17, 2005
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Q&A: Coach Brad Stevens on His Surprising Celtics and the New Jordan Crawford
 
Nice interview over on Grantland. 
 
Was there a "Come to Jesus" talk with Jordan Crawford? Did you sit him down and tell him how he'd have to play in order to save and prolong his NBA career? There must have been a frank conversation.
I never had it.
Really?
It was more about talking collectively about: "What do we all do well?" And then thinking about what our teammates on the floor do well, and how we all can make them better at what they do. There are very few guys in the NBA who don't have things they don't do well. Some of the better players don't have very many, but everybody is here because they have a strength. So you just try to find your strengths and soar with them.
[Crawford] has done a good job of recognizing his strengths and recognizing his teammates' strengths.
 

beezer

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Jer said:
Just came in to post this link.  I think its a great read and really shows that he can adapt extremely well at this level.  He talks about how he'd love to rush the big on a pick and roll, but he's listened to his assistants about how that wouldn't be the best course of action for this team.  Just shows a general understanding of how to coach at this level and in my mind he's been great (a little too good as I have been in the tank camp)
 
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