“Youth offers the promise of happiness, but life the realities of grief”, wrote Nicholas Sparks.
To be young is a wonderful thing, especially if you are the Boston Celtics. Youth is one quality considered to be a positive for the C’s after falling to the San Antonio Spurs by eleven points. When you are in the midst of a losing streak, possessing an optimistic outlook can prove to be very helpful. These are the times when youth can work to your advantage.
On the other hand, their penchant for turning the ball over in crucial moments, being unsure of when to make that critical pass, and putting a little too much mustard on the hot dog instead of making the simple play, have cost them several games that were in their reach.
When on the floor, the point guard position is the hub of the team. The point guard sets the tempo for the other four players on the squad. And for the C’s, this is where the youth and inexperience really shines.
Jordan Crawford, a natural shooting guard, is trying to learn to pass first and shoot second. Avery Bradley is used to playing the off guard, where his forte is lock-down defense. And Courtney Lee?……well. Then there is Phil Pressey, the rookie, who is fairly adequate but not quite settled yet.
Yes, youth is many a splendored thing. It can keep you in games – with it’s effort and sheer excitement – then it bounces you off the court – with it’s poor judgement and lack of experience.
For a coach that has the task of managing such conditions of changeableness, the ride can be quite nauseating. Brad Stevens appears to be showing no effects of his early season roller-coaster ride. He has established the reputation for keeping his composure, even in the face of one of the most improbable victories of the season.
The Celtics were celebrating a last second shot by Jeff Green amid a shocked Miami crowd in the American Airlines Arena. How does he respond?
(a) He proceeds to join his team in post-game hoorays.
(b) He runs off the court pumping his hand in the air, declaring: “We’re Number One!”
Stevens calmly gives Eric Spoelstra the customary end-of-game farewell (hand held in the air) and exits the arena.
Young players can, for all intents and purposes, either bring out the best or the worst in a coach. Coach Stevens seems to understand that he has a young team. Now if only he can teach them to keep their composure.
Boston misses Rondo.