The Celtics are mired in a disappointing 2020-21 NBA season, but don’t expect that to bring about any major changes within the organization.
Although Boston will participate in the NBA’s augury tournament against the Wizards on Tuesday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Stevens’ job is not in jeopardy. No matter what happens to the Celtics in the postseason, Stevens is expected to return with the team.
“Brad Stevens is coming back,” Wojnarowski said in ESPN’s “Get Up” Tuesday in the afternoon. “The idea that your job could be in jeopardy is not accurate. This is a coach who has been to conference finals three out of four years. They go [to]certainly continue with Brad Stevens. “
The Celtics were seen as one of the main contenders in the Eastern Conference at the start of the season. However, they never gained momentum during the season and hit a 36-36 record to finish seventh in the East.
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But as Wojnarowski pointed out, Stevens’ teams were still able to reach the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four seasons. This year, their struggles were compounded by a couple of things.
“They’ve had a talent drain in Boston in recent years. They have to improve their talent and they need a healthy Kemba Walker,” Woj said. “That has been a big problem for the up and down nature of this Celtics team.”
In fact, losing Gordon Hayward had a huge impact on the Celtics. And in previous off-seasons, the team had lost players like Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have become star-caliber players, Boston’s inability to replace them has created a lack of depth for the team as a whole.
Injuries have also been a problem for the squad. Wojnarowski pointed out Walker’s absence, but the Celtics, in total, had 217 lost games for injuries or COVID this season. That was the 11th most in the NBA and the sixth most among teams to make the playoffs. That certainly had an impact and is part of why Stevens will return next year.
“They’re going to call this season a disappointment,” Woj said. “I think you will see some movement on the roster this offseason, but I don’t think you will see any change in his leadership.”
So Stevens appears to be safe, but he and Danny Ainge will face the difficult task of overhauling themselves and getting Boston back on track quickly after a difficult season.