BOSTON — Brad Stevens is a basketball genius, but the Boston Celtics coach evidently wasn’t familiar with every sector of the NBA rulebook.
After the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals, Stevens hinted at lineup changes, but Boston’s starting five ultimately wasn’t revealed until shortly before tip-off. During the Celtics’ 2017 playoff run, however, Stevens was far more open with his lineup decisions, which typically were revealed during his pregame press conference.
So why the change? Prior to Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden on Wednesday, Stevens revealed his lineup secrecy is a product of becoming more familiar with league policy. In fact, he was honest enough to admit the only reason he shared his starting five during pregame pressers in the past was because he thought he had to.
“Yeah I don’t think I knew the rules,” Stevens said. “Nobody told me the rules when I got here. They just sent me out here to do media sessions before every game and nobody said I didn’t have to say it. I guess I’m learning every day.”
Well, it looks like the Celtics’ young players aren’t the only ones gaining valuable information amid this postseason run.