Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Stays Humble on Coach of the Year Stance

Saturday, March 31 - Raptors at Celtics

Pregame – Stevens Stays Humble on Coach of the Year Stance

BOSTON – Brad Stevens has made a remarkable case for the NBA’s Coach of the Year award this season, but there is one individual who would leave the Celtics’ coach off the voting ballot.

That individual? Stevens, himself.

Yes, despite all of the obstacles Boston has overcome this season and despite all of the success it has experienced, Stevens still does not believe that he should be ranked among the league’s top coaches.

“There are 29 other great coaches, and just to be a head coach in this league is enough,” Stevens explained Saturday evening ahead of tip-off against the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden. “There’s no way that I would ever consider myself to be in that race.”

Stevens may be too humble to make a case for himself as Coach of the Year, but ironically, the man who may be his biggest competition for the award stepped up to the plate instead. Shortly after Stevens delivered his modest response, Raptors coach Dwane Casey told members of the media that Stevens should be near, or at, the top of everybody’s list, considering Boston’s ability to constantly triumph over adversity.

“Brad, he’s done a heck of a job,” said Casey, whose Raptors currently sit three games ahead of the Celtics for first place in the East. “Losing Gordon Hayward, their free-agent All-Star, and to win 16 in a row after that. And then losing Kyrie Irving, who’s another All-Star, and to see where they are now and the job they’ve done. That’s a heck of a job.”

A heck of a job, indeed. While the C’s have dealt with non-stop injuries throughout the season, there has been one constant holding them together: Brad Stevens on the sideline. Without his calming presence and coaching mind, it’s very unlikely that Boston would have a firm hold of second place in the East this late in the season.

Stevens may truly believe that he doesn’t belong in the running, but that’s just his humble nature shining through. For those on the outside looking in, however, it’s undeniable that he should be right up near the top of every voter’s Coach of the Year ballot.

- Taylor Snow