BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics concluded their season last night with a 118-102 loss to the Washington Wizards, finishing with a 25-57 record — tied for fourth worst in the NBA.
Celtics fans and observers aren’t surprised by the lackluster season due to the trades of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and the departure of Doc Rivers during the offseason.
Rivers’ replacement and the current head coach of the Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, joined Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak on Thursday to share some of his thoughts on his first season and how he felt the team performed.
“I’m disappointed in our overall record and how we performed collectively,” Brad Stevens said. “I thought that we had our chance, at times, to get over the hump and we didn’t quite do it. At the same time I thought we showed some growth in areas.
“I think that, hopefully, it’s a year that as I reflect back on, our players will get better individually from that and will be better both individually and in collective settings in the future as a result of it. That we all have a chip on our shoulders from and that we can improve on.”
While the Celtics were near the bottom of the NBA for most of the season, Stevens was proud that the team stuck together, never going at each other or blaming each other publicly.
“I was proud of the fact that we never splintered,” Stevens said. “If we ever had issues of disagreement, whether it was coach and player, or player and player, those issues were really few and far between and they never became bigger than the one or two minutes that they occurred. … Anytime you’re on a team and that’s the case, that’s a positive environment. I thought we had a positive environment. I didn’t think we were as good as we needed to be and I think we need to get better in the details to be a better basketball team.”
While many fans and critics of the Celtics looked at the season as a rebuilding effort, Stevens never looked at it that way, always trying to get better each and every day.
“I don’t think about it as a rebuild,” Stevens said. “I think about it as, ‘What can I do to help our team get better today?’ and ‘What can I do to prepare for the next opponent?’ And that’s the way we’ve spent the last five months, six months. … Bottom line is we didn’t do it well enough. And the next step is to try and figure out how we can be better in the future.”
Now that the season is over, Stevens has started his reflection on the season, thinking back to all the close losses and what’s next for him and the team.
“You look at 25-57, and it’s hard to swallow,” Stevens said. “It’s hard to think back to the games that you really really had a chance to win, but you came up a little bit short. … My biggest thing is, whether you’ve had a good season or not, you’re driven by what’s next. And you’re driven by the opportunities that are ahead.”
Listen below for the full interview: