Is Brad Stevens' job in jeopardy? Jeff Goodman weighs in on D&K


With the Celtics now 7-14 over their last 21 games after Wednesday night’s embarrassing loss to the Hawks and sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, two games under .500, everything seems to be on the table in terms of possible changes.

While it doesn’t seem like Danny Ainge’s job is in jeopardy just yet, the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn did say on Ordway, Merloni and Fauria that Boston’s front office could use some changes.

There seems to be more heat on coach Brad Stevens, though, even if Ainge continues to publicly stand by him.

Appearing on Dale and Keefe on Thursday, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman -- who classifies himself as a big fan of Stevens -- acknowledged that it could be time for a change, although he said he’d still wait a little bit longer to make it.

“I think you need to wait and see in a month, on the trade deadline, where you’re at,” Goodman said. “When Marcus Smart comes back, and give Kemba [Walker] another few weeks, and see what this team looks like then. Then you have a decision to make if you’re Danny Ainge. And I don’t know if you have a decision to make if you’re Wyc Grousbeck, but you probably do in the sense of, are you going to spend some money?

“But if you’re Danny Ainge, you have decisions to make, and I never thought I’d say this, because I’m the biggest Brad Stevens fan there is -- as a human being, and I watched him take Butler to two championship games out of the Horizon League. The guy can coach. Let’s not say he can’t coach. But can he coach this team? Can he get enough out of this group? That’s the big question.”

Goodman noted that sometimes a good coach isn’t necessarily the right coach for a particular team anymore, and pointed to the Clippers and Doc Rivers parting ways after last season.

“That’s the big question, is do you just need a new voice?,” Goodman asked. “Sometimes… look at Doc Rivers. It wasn’t working in LA with the Clippers, and a change of scenery was probably best for all involved. And it’s working in Philly. So could that be the case with Brad?”

Goodman said he doesn’t think it’s a matter of X’s and O’s or scheme or anything technical, but that it’s more about whether he can be the guy who can motivate a team that isn’t putting in its best effort each night, or whether it’s going to take a different kind of coach to do that.

“It’s not necessarily the adjustments. It’s not X’s and O’s. It’s honestly more people around the league saying he’s too nice,” Goodman said. “He’s too nice, he doesn’t jump them, he doesn’t get up in them. Then you’re leaving it up to them to be self-motivated, which they should be. I mean, last night was a complete embarrassment. So part of that’s on the players, because they’re making a lot of money and shouldn’t have to be motivated like that, but I think part of it also is maybe the coaching staff.

“You’ve got a bunch of guys on that staff who are pretty even-keel, pretty mellow. And that’s been a major asset for Brad Stevens throughout his career. But ultimately you might want a guy on this bench, a former NBA player, who would really jump these guys. I’m not saying it’s Kevin Garnett, but a guy like that, who’s going to get up in them. Even if it’s like Udonis Haslem as your 12th man -- never plays, but he’ll get up in these dudes. They need it.”