Stevens addresses state of Celtics' roster as struggles continue


This isn't how Brad Stevens drew it up.

After vacating his head coach position this summer to take over as Boston Celtics president of basketball operations, Stevens overhauled much of the roster, bringing in veterans like Al Horford, Josh Richardson and Dennis Schroder while giving contract extensions to Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III and pairing the group with a new head coach in Ime Udoka.

The results through seven games have been disappointing, to say the least: The Celtics are 2-5 after a historic collapse against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night that led to Marcus Smart publicly calling out young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for not passing the ball enough in the fourth quarter.

Forsberg: Where do Celtics go from here after Smart's call-out?

While seven games of 82 is a small sample size, there's a risk in letting issues go unaddressed for too long. So, in a 1-on-1 interview with Stevens at Tuesday's ABCD Hoop Dreams charity event, NBC Sports Boston's Michael Holley asked the Celtics boss directly: Is this the right group together?

"We're gonna find out," Stevens responded.

Stevens then offered some perspective from his final season as a head coach, in which Boston won eight of its first 11 games but stumbled to a .500 record and a first-round playoff exit.

"We 8-3 to start the year and it didn't feel like 8-3 from my perspective," Stevens said. "I felt like there were a lot of things we were going to have to really account for and we were going to have to be a lot better, and then we got hit with other stuff. So, right now at 2-5, I feel a lot better from the structural standpoint at 2-5.


"It's a long year. There's 75 games left. Every loss and every moment gnaws at you and eats at you, but again, I think my responsibility is to look at it from the 10,000-foot view and not make those decisions based on the emotion of a tough 14 minutes in a basketball game."

What Stevens thought of Smart calling out Tatum and Brown

Stevens is right: The Celtics might need time to work through a few growing pains with a new head coach and different roster. Perhaps there will be a rainbow after the rain, as Smart suggested Monday night, and perhaps that loss to the Bulls will spark a turnaround.

If that turnaround doesn't happen soon, though, expect Stevens to face more questions about whether more shakeups are needed ahead the NBA trade deadline.

Check out Stevens' full interview with Holley in the YouTube video below.