LaMelo Ball praises Celtics' Brad Stevens to put down Lithuanian coach

Associated Press

Despite their injuries, the Celtics went 55-27 this season-their best record since the 2010-11 campaign-and are now four wins from reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

The bias displayed by the coaches indicate some pettiness to Brad Stevens for overachieving. The distinction is voted on by the recipients' fellow coaches and is separate from the NBA's Coach of the Year award, which is determined by media members. Then, he helped Kyrie Irving realize his full two-way potential more consistently during the first half of the 2017-18 season, when the former Cleveland Cavaliers star looked like a viable MVP candidate himself.

This has probably rankled numerous other 29 coaches, owners, players and general managers as a lot of them believe the way to coach a National Basketball Association franchise is the way it has been done for years and that the college way Stevens coached at Butler would never work successfully in the National Basketball Association.

He believes his team's mental toughness and grit have carried it more than anything he's done.




He took a group of young players, gave them the confidence as injuries happened and players have stepped up when called upon by Stevens. I really think he is incredibly deserving.

"I think the job that he's done with Gordon going out, Kyrie going out, I respect how they design their team", Brown said.

From Stevens' ability to draw up plays out of timeouts, to his management of late-clock situations, to getting the best out of his roster, James has always been a fan. The other seven coaches to receive votes from their peers were Philadelphia's Brett Brown, Houston's Mike D'Antoni, Indiana's Nate McMillan, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, Utah's Quin Snyder, Portland's Terry Stotts and the Los Angeles Clippers' Doc Rivers.

Stevens said he's focused on living in the moment. "We talked about it prior to the playoffs; nobody should love a challenge more, nobody should have more fun doing it".

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