Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that despite the struggles his team has endured this season, the commitment of the players on his roster hasn't wavered and he stressed that's played a big part in helping his team remain competitive while navigating this transition season.
"It doesn't surprise me because of the people we have on the roster," Stevens said Thursday while appearing on ESPN Radio's SVP & Russillo. "Our character on this roster is really good. Then when you look at guys that don't play as much, when they come into the game, how they support each other on the bench, I'd put our guys up against anybody. They are in it together. We've got a guy Gerald Wallace, who is now out for the season and he's around our guys every chance he gets. He's at the games -- he doesn't travel because we need him to stay here to do his rehab after ankle and knee surgery a couple weeks ago -- but we've got a nice dynamic there. We just have to get better, there's no two ways around it -- 23-48 is not good enough. It's not good enough for anybody here. And it's not on any one person, it's on each and every one of us. But the commitment to doing so and the commitment to playing together, I have not questioned."
With 71 games in the rearview mirror, Stevens was asked if he's had a moment where the pace of the NBA schedule has caught up with him.
"It's funny, a couple of weeks ago somebody said, 'Hey, the regular season is only 20 more games,' and I was thinking, 'Man, that' not a lot.' But that's 2/3 of a college season and that's going to be crammed into six weeks. It has not hit me, or at least I don't know if it's hit me, you know how you're kinda grinding on adrenaline? Shoot, we play Toronto last night; we have to get on a plane and fly up there, we gotta play them again [Friday] night. We play the Bulls back-to-back on Sunday and Monday. Boy, you start feeling sorry for yourself, you start thinking you're tired, you're not going to very good at this. It's such a great challenge, night in, night out, that there's no time to be tired."
Stevens also talked about this year's NCAA tournament and how success in March can change the lives of young coaches.