‘We’ve got the okay to do whatever we need to do,’ says Celtics president Brad Stevens of Boston’s offseason teambuilding

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Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens met with the press Tuesday morning to discuss the future plans of the team while touching on what comes after their 2022 NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors last week and to give an update on the state of the team.

The Celtics are in a good position to continue competing for a championship in the immediate future but have a number of issues that were exposed by that Finals loss, ranging from simple inexperience to structural issues in the team’s rotation created by a lack of reliable depth able to play in the postseason.

Stevens began by acknowledging that while at the start of the season the Celtics “didn’t look like a team that would be quite in the mix” he related that Boston “didn’t think we were as far off as maybe others would assume.”

The team’s tendency to complain to the referees to their detriment also came up, with Stevens noting that more often than not, “the calls were usually right.”

That may seem generous by Stevens after what was witnessed by fans in the 2022 postseason, but most accounts of full-game arbitration back up the team president’s perspective.

“You’ve got to control what you can control,” he suggested.

Turnovers were a serious problem for Boston as they advanced in the playoffs that Stevens also addressed, noting the Warriors in particular “scored in transition” because of the Celtics’ tendencies of turning the ball over.

The question of how to improve the team to avoid such issues was not such an easy proposition to the team president, however.

“As far as improving, it’s the same old deal — draft, develop,” suggested Stevens. “And deals, you just look for things that make the most sense within your group.”

“I think we have to walk a fine line … I think teams are fragile. I think the ways that teams work together and operate together are fragile. I think your identity as a team when you find one that’s successful, which we did this year on the defensive end of the floor and when we were at our best sharing the ball offensively, those things are fragile. (It) doesn’t mean that you’re not taking something away from the group and to change significant pieces in the group doesn’t mean that might not totally take your identity and shift it in a direction that’s not as successful.”

“And so it’s quite a fine line,” he added.

The team president had a few general ideas about what Boston might be looking for in any new additions, which he shared.

“If you asked me right now what we need, I’d like to have a little bit more scoring, consistent scoring off the bench and I think that we have some short term needs there. But I believe in a couple of the guys that didn’t get a chance to play as much that they will continue to improve and be knocking on that door soon. So we have some development opportunities within our own organization.”

“We’ll continue to scour and look at what our opportunities are with our trade exceptions and the draft and our limited resources and free agency,” related Stevens.

Slow starts were another issue of note for Boston in 2021-22, which Stevens shared that the team might be on the hunt for a player who fits the team that could help in that regard.

“We’re going through the whole list and we’re trying to find guys that fit what we need and will fit into how we want to play and how Ime (Udoka) wants to coach and makes it so that this train can take off from the get-go next year.”

Importantly, team ownership is on board with whatever Stevens thinks the team needs to pursue this offseason; “We’ve got the okay to do whatever we need to do,” he explained.

“I think at the end of the day, we … have a pretty good idea of what, what we need and what we want to do that doesn’t take away from the group,” explained Stevens.

But I think it’s important as we consider all of this to remember that Ime is only in year one with his staff with this group, so there’s still a lot of continuity that can be built and gained from being together.”

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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