1. Brad Stevens
I’m not usually one to get excited about a college coach moving up to the pros. Be it football or basketball, the transition is much more difficult than a lot of coaches expect (or so it seems), so any time a college coach is named the new savior of a professional franchise, I yawn and wait for the inevitable retreat of said coach back to the college game.
I don’t think I’ll be yawning as I follow Bard Stevens this season.
Buzz Williams of Marquette puts it better than I can:
“Coach Stevens is a Hall of Fame coach. He’s just not old enough for you to call him that yet.”
Stevens is not going to make the Boston Celtics a playoff team this season. In the NBA, you need more than preparation and a system; you need talent, to the tune of at least one superstar who can throw his team on his back in crunch time, and a reliable cast of secondary characters who can knock down open shots. The Cs are not there yet – but Stevens is a smart, tireless student of the game. He will earn his title as a head coach in the NBA pretty quickly, and probably be the reason why this team is involved in more close games this year than they ought to be.