The Boston Celtics are getting younger. Apparently in a rebuilding year, the perennial contender looks to be anything but that heading into next season. However the team has taken several steps in the right direction after finally cutting ties with aging players in order to make way for young talent to develop. The Boston Celtics are finally getting younger, they even signed former Butler Coach Brad Stevens to replace Doc Rivers.
A youth movement began in Boston with the trade of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets last week. KG and Pierce made up the core of this Celtic team for the better part of a decade. The roster this year will be void of aging talent. Looking like an entirely new group of players, this team currently features Rajon Rondo at point guard, as well as forwards Jeff Green and Brandon Bass. This youth movement in Boston certainly lacks the star power of the previous aging stars. Brad Stevens may have become the biggest star on the roster by signing with the Celtics.
Brad Stevens is one of youngest coaches in NBA. At just 36 years old, he is continuing a coaching youth movement within the league. Men such as Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is just 40 years old, while Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is just 42. Stevens is actually a year younger than the recently departed Kevin Garnett, who still plans to continue his playing career in Brooklyn next season. Hiring a coach younger than last year’s star player is a sign the Celtics youth movement is in full force.
Certainly possessing an impressive resume at Butler, there are several reasons to question whether the newly signed coach of the Celtics will find the same success he had at the collegiate level. Brad Stevens was able to lead his Butler Bulldogs to back to back national title games while winning 77 percent of his games during his time with the mid-major program.
His accomplishments in the NCAA tournament made clear that the mid-major programs were legitimate contenders in March. This trend was furthered by the Gonzaga Bulldogs being awarded a number one seed in last year’s tournament.
However collegiate success doesn’t always transfer over to the professional level. This is made even more suspect by the fact that the young Brad Stevens hasn’t faced near the competition he will have to face regularly while coaching the Boston Celtics. He played in a small conference, and did not even amass significant time playing against the blue bloods of collegiate basketball. Competition is certain to increase, and he will have to adjust his game plans accordingly. He will not only face stiffer competition, but have greater talent on his own roster with which to scheme for.
Las Vegas is not convinced that the young Brad Stevens and the rest of the Boston Celtics youth movement will work off. The team had been listed as a 100-1 underdog to win the NBA title next year, and after the signing of the former Butler coach the line remained the same.
The Boston Celtics are rebuilding and are starting off that process with a youth movement within the roster and coaching staff. Hiring Brad Stevens was just the icing on the cake for the Celtics decision to add an influx of youth to its roster. If given enough time, he has shown the ability to win on every big stage he has faced, but the Celtics probably aren’t going to contend this season.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express