The effort this season has been flawless, the execution has been inconsistent. The Celtics have given max effort in 98% of the games so far this season. It's all you can ask for no matter how well your team plays. Stevens expects max effort every single night, and that won't change when or if the Celtics have one or two more stars in Boston. Stevens has bought into the Celtics lore and mystique. He wants to keep that alive, and he wants it to be the culture, his culture in Boston.
"I think we've done a great job of bringing in guys that are not necessarily world-beaters, but great guys, great teammates," said Stevens. "They do whatever you ask them to do and are excited to be here. They know and understand the responsibility of wearing that uniform. They get it.
"As a result, you've got a lot of guys playing really hard regardless of who's out there. It's a credit to guys like Gerald [Wallace]. You want to play hard with him out [season-ending knee and ankle surgery]. We owe that to him. I'm excited because we're getting better. But it's rough because I want to win that game [Saturday against the Pacers]. That game -- we had a shot to win."
This must be a rough feeling for Stevens, losing so much in a short time. The Celtics had a legit chance making the playoffs this season, and you shouldn't blame Stevens for the Celtics fall, and I don't think anyone does out there. I don't know what this team has learned this year, but I do know what we learned. Stevens is a coach to follow, and we also know that winning in the NBA is done with stars. Stevens has done a good job with the talent, and with Rondo out for the first 40 plus games.
This team won't give in, they still have some hope, even if all of us have given up on a playoff spot. Stevens won't change his plan despite the poor record. He wants this team to mesh well, and he sees that happening with some of the players on the team now.