The Celtics are free falling. And not in the cool John Mayer remix kind of way. Losers of 4 straight, the green teamers are starting to panic and rightfully so. However, most of the outrage seems to be towards Kyrie. While he certainly deserves blame, I think the issues with this team are bigger than that and come from the top. Brad Stevens, boy genius, Gregg Popovich 2.0 is the main reason the Celtics are on the verge of complete and utter chaos.
While nobody can refute that what Brad Stevens had done up to this point was impressive, this season has been a complete disappointment in every way possible. Each year except for his first, the Celtics always over achieved. So what has changed? The answer is egos. Stevens has never in his career had to deal with managing egos on teams, from his Butler days until now. His system is predicated on ball movement and sacrifice. These things were easier to achieve with the Avery Bradley’s, the Jae Crowders, the Isaaih Thomas’s of the world. The Celtics always had guys with chips on their shoulders and something to prove. This year? Well, fresh off being 1 quarter away from a Finals appearance in May, the Celtics young players had the entire off-season to listen to how good they were, how much talent they have, how they will easily make it to the Finals this season. Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were victims to their own success. Now, under a coach who knew how to manage egos this might not have been such a disaster. Some might say the last Celtics coach might be better fit for the job. Doc Rivers was a players coach and while he might not have actually known what he was doing when it came to basketball, he knew how to keep everyone happy enough to make the product on the court successful. Stevens might just be in over his head.
Kyrie is a diva. We all know this. He loves the drama. He learned from LeBron, but LeBron was good enough to make up for his antics on the court. Kyrie however is not. Kyrie runs around saying whatever he wants, calling guys out, throwing teammates under the bus, and blaming the media for anything that is negative. If this were last year, the young guys like Jaylen and Tatum might have just let all of this slide. The problem is they think they are on Kyrie’s level now, because that’s what they were told by everyone after the playoffs last year. There is a power struggle inside the Celtics locker room, and Brad Stevens allowed it to happen, and has zero idea how to fix it. I mean, the man had the nerve to come out after their 4th straight loss last night and say they lost simply because they “missed shots”. Come on now. They lost because nobody gives a shit besides Marcus Smart, who unfortunately is not that good at basketball. Steven’s isn’t equipped to handle a situation like this. That’s why he is the biggest problem right now, and not Kyrie. Star players win championships in the NBA, not coaches. And if Stevens doesn’t know how to coach star players ( No, the midget IT doesn’t count as a star), then the Celtics entire plan will never work.
There is a very real possibility that Kyrie walks in July, and that would be an absolute disaster. Sure, they might look better night to night in the regular season running back the team from last years playoffs, but that team would be the worst team in the Atlantic Divison. They would be behind the Nets, yes, the same Nets who HANDED THEM 3 TOP 5 PICKS. Celtics fans may not want to believe it, or may not be paying attention, but the Nets have just as much young talent as they do. Right now the only difference is Kyrie. Take Kyrie away, yeah, I’d much rather run with Russell, Levert, Dinwiddie and Allen than Tatum, Brown, Smart and Rozier. So my suggestion to Danny Ainge would be to fire Steven’s to keep Kyrie there, and hope you can find a coach who can manage these players. If not, the Celtics might be tanking during the window that everyone said was their championship window. Hate to see it.