The No. 2 Brooklyn Nets have not only ended the season for the No. 7 Boston Celtics in a five game series, but also Brad Stevens’ eight season career as head coach.
News has been broken that Stevens will move to the front office of the Celtics franchise after Danny Ainge has retired. A search for a head coach has started as of Wednesday June 2nd, hours after the Celtics loss.
So what does this mean for the Boston Celtics in the upcoming 2021-22 season?
We look at the expectations for the Celtics this past season. The loss of Gordon Hayward to the Hornets over the free-agency period, left a gaping hole in the starting line-up. Moving forward, the Celtics picked up Tristan Thompson, along with first-round picks, Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard. Tatum and Brown continued holding up their part through the season, with support from fan-favorite rookie, Pritchard. The Boston Celtics had what was considered one of the NBAs’ best rosters for the season.
The season for the Celtics progressed with strength and unmatched talent, but even then they fell short of their goal. Over the years, fans and spectators have shown mixed feelings towards Stevens and his impact on the franchise. This change may be what fans have been waiting for and exactly what the franchise needs to truly showcase the talent that makes up the Boston Celtics.
Yes, Stevens and his Celtics have made seven straight playoff appearances and yes, Stevens and his Celtics reached the conference finals three times in four years, but where are the rings? Stevens has taken the brunt for a lot of bad moments and failure to reach the finals, despite having an all-star leader like Kyrie Irving in 2017 backed up by guys like Thompson and Hayward. Even with the handful of first-round picks throughout the 2019 and 2020 draft, they have been unable to capitalize on that talent. At the same time, he has been praised for developing players and giving somewhat of a “fight till the death” philosophy to not only his team, but the Celtics franchise. It seems as though in the end, it was never enough. Star players are traded to Boston, only to leave a few seasons in without a ring on their finger.
Theres no doubt that Stevens has an amazing eye for the game, however, there is always the question of whether or not it’s time for a new outlook. We see it in team rebuilding across all sports; sometimes a fresh, new voice is what a team needs to build new strategies and kickstart a new era.
The Boston Celtics have the talent and with the right head coach, we may see a different outcome. The young talent of Pritchard and Nesmith continuing to grow alongside the experienced NBA stars could pose a serious threat to the rest of the league.
A new eye can be just what the team needs to succeed and break their streak of falling short.