Brad Stevens wants to be more like the Boston Bruins | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Brad Stevens wants to be more like the Boston Bruins

stevens as lucic

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens brought his former Butler numbers guru to town to help with statistical analysis. One of Cannon’s early tasks: Track hockey assists. In practice.

What are hockey assists? It’s an advanced hoops stat that spotlights the player who assists the player who assists a made field goal. In hockey, a second assist is often credited on goals, but it’s fairly easy to track when a typical game features only a handful of scoring plays. In basketball, where the Celtics, for instance, averaged 37 made field goals per game last season (61.4 percent of which were assisted), it’s a far more daunting chore that often requires video review to truly track with accuracy.

[…] “I’ve tracked it before in my career because I’ve coached for a lot of teams that didn’t have what you would consider to be a pure point guard,” Stevens said. “And I think it is important when you’re trying to emphasize the extra pass, and you’re only focused on assists, then you’re not giving any credit to the guy who created the play. So we do track that [and] we will start tracking it more. “

ESPN Boston: C’s put emphasis on hockey assist

This is great.  There’s no better way to get guys to do what you want than to create a statistic for it and let guys know who’s doing it well.

Guys love their stats.  Anyone in the league who tells you he doesn’t know what his stats are is probably lying to you.  Stats make contracts, and great stats make great contracts.  So if a guy can go to a GM and say “I led my team in hockey assists last year,” that now means something.

I’ve long advocated for the hockey assist in basketball.  The pass to set up the pass is just as important as the assist, so I’m glad guys are getting credit for it now.  And on this team, with a lack of guys who can really create their own shot, assisting the assist is going to give the Celtics their best chance to score baskets.

I do think Jeff Green is going to get lost in this system a little bit, though, if he doesn’t ramp up the aggressiveness.  There’s making the extra pass, and then there’s playing passively.  Jeff’s got to understand that the Celtics not only need his scoring on the floor, they need the threat of his scoring to soften the defense and make those eventual extra passes more effective.  He needs to be more of a threat out there because doing so forces more defensive attention on him, and it makes it tougher for defenders to rotate and chase the ball.  If Green makes it tougher for defenses to do that, he gives his teammates that extra tick they need to get a clean look versus a contested shot.

C’s play the Knicks tonight… let’s see if they can clean it up a bit from Monday and get that crisp ball movement going.

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  • 84_and_7

    in NBA 2k you get credited for the hockey assist. I firmly stand by, not sure what the overall record will be, but this team will be a good overall product. I am excited for the Olynk and sullinger front court.

    • Curt Hays

      Kelly/Sully is going to be killer. FINALLY people are starting to agree with me. Now just think about how they’ll look with Gerald Wallace and Jeff green on the court with Avery Bradley. Match up nightmare.

      • frickenWaaaltah

        Kelly’s such a head-in-the-game player I think they will be tempted to lean on him at center, but just look at him, his body isn’t ready for the NBA schedule.

        They need to be extremely careful not to break him this year or early in his career in general. He got plantar fascitis just from the summer league, which basically means his feet weren’t holding up to all that running. If that happens over the long term, the result can be even worse, like stress fractures.

        The C’s should manage his feet like baseball teams manage a pitcher’s arm. He’s going to need to get completely jacked from the neck down to survive the NBA over the long haul. If he can get a steel core and monster legs before he develops any chronic injuries that will drag down him his whole career, he could have a long healthy career. If he takes an old school approach to conditioning he could end up being compared to Bill Walton for more than just the long hair and headband look.

        • Curt Hays

          Probably right. Dirk didn’t have those problems, but I think Dirk has a different body type. Maybe Dirk just doesn’t play as hard as Kelly.
          It IS unfortunate that Danny didn’t go out and get a real Center. Because of this, I expect them to use Kelly for it instead of letting him do what he does. Let’s hope you’re fricken Wrong Waltah

          • frickenWaaaltah

            Well yeah it’s always such a waste when a guy who is worth watching play gets chewed up by the NBA schedule.

            But it’s 2013, they should know how to handle it by now. He needs an awesome core, strong quads etc. The good news is that he made it this far already, compared to say, Greg Oden or Leon Powe, who both had major health issues already in college.

            So if they bring him along gradually, the strength and conditioning people take care of him, he takes care of himself, and Stevens and co don’t push him to play 35+ mpg right away, then cross your fingers and you never know but things should turn out ok.

            I hope they really try playing Vitor. Getting a not horrible 20-25mpg from him would be awesome but If they can play him even just 15mpg it’d be great. Then you get Kelly for 20-25ish for a while, with Humphries and Bass picking up the rest at center when they feel like they can get away with it here and there. Otherwise, they need another 5.

            I know they really wanted to avoid paying tax this year but man they must really not think much of Fab to just ditch him instead of Crawford, on a roster loaded 2-4. I mean it seems like it would have been a good year to try Fab in games for ~15-25 mpg and see if he sank or swam. Or maybe it just had to be Fab for the numbers to work, Crawford is pretty close but he does make a little more money, so who knows.

          • Curt Hays

            I agree with you regarding Vitor. Rondo could make him look good like Steimsma did. I keep forgetting we have Bass. Can we just trade him for an expiring contract??
            Fab…I am glad he’s gone from the Cs, but NOW I have to see him at Mavs home games…I’ll admit if I’m wrong, but I think dropping Fab was smart.

    • bill_nair

      Interesting. Is this newly implemented into 2k14?

  • Curt Hays

    What are the chances that Brad Stevens DOESN’T mold Jeff Green into an effective, dominant destroyer of defeneses?

    • bill_nair

      IMO its all on Green. Brad can do as much as possible but if Jeff doesnt get it going as far as confidence, I doubt anyone can put him in a position to succeed. Its sad to say, but I still have hopes hes gonna be good this year.

      • Curt Hays

        I mostly agree, but I think Brad can influence Green more than one would think. I did notice that the NBA fanbase is still looking at Jeff Green’s highlights. It’s like everyone thinks Jeff’s a star but Jeff.

        • bill_nair

          I agree with you 100%. I also believe fan’s expect much more than is realistic from Jeff. I think Brad will be great for Jeff and can get the most out of him. My worry is Jeff will be his own worse enemy and prevent him from turning to the consistent offensive threat he can be.

      • wil

        Jeff Green needs to be more selfish. if he does that, he will be a great scorer

    • Luke Walton


  • Luke Walton

    Jeff Green a c Lee may be destined for “should have been better” tag

    • Curt Hays

      Can’t disagree with that. Why is it that we remember all the good that guys like Courtney and J Craw did against us, but when they get here we only see the bad? I guess because that is what affects us most.

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    You guys are like so DESPERATE to try and make this Bard Stevens hire look good that you virtually grasping at any straw that will not make him look as bad as he is going to be. Just admit it: Ainge messed up by hiring him over more qualified candidates and the Celtics are going to suck hard this year. Trying to dress things up the way you are doing is pretty sad to say the least.

    • So am I not allowed to think he’s been doing a great job so far?

      • Curt Hays

        Maybe you guys should just close the website entirely. Saying anything good about your team is for Heat, Yankees, and Lakers fans only, I guess.

    • bill_nair

      Here’s an odd suggestion, dont come on to the site.

    • wil

      too early to say. He is doing a great job so far. Name any mistake he has done?

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  • wil

    I wouldnt mind Wallace, Sully and KO starting. Jeff Green is a really slow starter, he tries too hard to blend in, he still doesnt have the right mentality to be a great scorer.

    Vitor and Humphries should get all the minutes that Bass has.

    But some one should really stop Sully and Vitor from shooting three’s. Work on it first before you do it in a game.

    CLee and Bass should lose all their minutes to all the other players on the team