The short answer to this question is simply no. However, I think Brad Stevens is slowly realizing that himself.
Back in late November, Jae Crowder had something to say regarding Stevens rotations, "...Coaching staff hasn’t figured it out yet. We don’t have set rotations. A lot of guys don’t know where we’re going to play or what time we’re going to play. It’s affecting us a little bit. We’ve got to figure it out as a unit, figure it out as a coaching staff. We gotta build our identity in who we want to be. We’re a month into the season and we haven’t figured it out."
Early in the year, Stevens was desperately trying to find rotations that worked, playing David Lee, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger similar minutes instead of just knowing who your better players are and playing them more. It has been almost two months now, but I think the Celtics have finally found their identity.
Not only that, but Stevens has finally found rotations he can stick to. Crowder, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley all play massive minutes night in and night out. Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger are the only "bigs" that play right now. Jerebko gets mixed in occasionally but does not have a big role. Stevens has been ending games with Crowder at the 4 and it has been working really well. Stevens has seemingly abandoned his college-style coaching of playing the entire team 25-30 minutes a game and it is definitely working. They won three in a row before losing last night to Dallas in overtime.
The Celtics and the Knicks are the only two teams in the NBA to have only 3 players averaging double digit points per game. You could say that is because of the early season college style coaching of Stevens. Or you could say it is because the Celtics lack a big time star talent, nevertheless, they should not be on that list for much longer. Kelly Olynyk has been absolutely on fire for the better part of the last month and is slowly creeping up to double digit points per game.
Stevens now understands that NBA players need to play consistent minutes nightly or the chemistry just will not be there. The Celtics are playing better as a team and it is showing in the W column. They need to keep this hot streak going against the Raptors on Wednesday to prove to themselves they can compete in the loaded Eastern Conference. I will have a blog soon about what trades the Celtics could make to vastly improve their chances in the East this year.
By: Jack Journeay