Like most in the basketball world, I’ve been extremely impressed with the grittiness of the Celtics as they have powered their way into a showdown with LeBron with a Finals appearance on the line. The Celtics, particularly Marcus Smart, play with a recklessness that you’re just not used to seeing.
In regards to hustle, Brad Stevens has one of my favorite lines. In the quote, in which he’s actually paraphrasing another New England coaching icon, Stevens suggests that if coaches want a tough, hard-nosed team, they should make sure they have tough, hard-nosed players. His point is that some players are more naturally inclined to put their body on the line than others. Between Smart, Terry Rozier, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and the rest of the Celtics, Danny Ainge has done a wonderful job of stocking Stevens’ roster with tough, hard-nosed players. For more on Stevens’ philosophy on hustle plays, check out this story from 2016. Embedded below is a video compilation of some of the hustle plays Smart and the Celtics have made this season.
For more on hustle:
-Golden State Warriors: Basketball’s most talented team is also the most tenacious (LINK)
-Wofford’s “Charge Wall” (LINK)
-Windex, a Lunch Pail & a Hard Hat: How a high school coach in the DMV makes the little things a big deal (LINK)
-The NBA’s “Hustle Stat” database (LINK)
-Picture of Dennis Rodman laying out for a loose ball (LINK)
-Ralph Willard clinic notes (LINK)
Charges are one of the biggest momentum swings in the game of basketball. Kyle Lowry has taken 37 charges this season, which is more than 9 different NBA teams totaled all year.
— Eric Musselman (@EricPMusselman) April 27, 2018