Celtics

Celtics

Like 21 other teams, the Boston Celtics will have to adapt to drastic changes when the NBA returns later this summer, most notably playing in empty arenas.

But could the silent gyms at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando actually give the Celtics a leg up? Former Celtics player and NBC Sports Boston analyst Brian Scalabrine believes so -- because of Boston's head coach.

As Scalabrine explained Tuesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" radio show, Brad Stevens should benefit greatly from the lack of crowd noise when the NBA resumes in late July.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis

"I think Brad is going to be remarkable in this environment," Scalabrine said. "Think about it: A free throw happens, he can call his team over and get a really quick 15-second timeout to get guys on track. Remember, I am in a lot of the huddles, especially at home. He doesn’t say much and he gets guys going in the right direction really quickly.

"Brad will have a big advantage because he’s always making team adjustments as the game goes along. On the road, it's a little tougher to do that because of the crowd. At home you can a little bit. I do like that."

Stevens is one of the stronger "Xs and Os" coaches in the NBA who is famous for his effective "ATO" (after time-out) plays. No crowd noise means more opportunities for Stevens to communicate strategy to his players, both during timeouts and during game play.

 

Listen and subscribe to the Celtics Talk Podcast:

When you combine Stevens' brain power with the Celtics' talent -- Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were enjoying career seasons before the NBA shut down on March 11, while Kemba Walker should be recovered from a nagging knee injury -- Boston could make some serious noise in the 22-game format, which is set to begin July 31 with an eight-game "seeding round" before the playoffs.

In fact, Scalabrine believes the C's have a chance to win the Eastern Conference, while sportsbooks list only the Milwaukee Bucks with better odds to win the NBA title among East teams.

Some Celtics players already have returned to the team's practice facility, so Stevens will be working his magic very soon.