It seems like Brad Stevens really wants to use the youngest player selected in this year’s draft as a defensive tool for the Boston Celtics. At 6’7 guard, James Young has a 7 foot wingspan, which is something that the Celtics could really use to their advantage and was quoted saying, “Coach Stevens has really been on me about defense”.
We can see that the Celtics will be able to produce offensively, especially with a commander on the court in Rondo, but where they will suffer the hardest this year is on defense. They have no true center that can really help them defend the basket (hopefully Zeller can transform into that player) but someone like Young, whose wingspan is so long and is one of the most athletic rookies, might be able to supply some extra defensive help off the bench that could help lead the Celtics to a few more victories this year.
It’s a very good thing that Stevens is pressuring Young to be better on defense not only because he can help our terrible defending on the court, but because he is going to better Young as an overall player. Young will not only become a more successful NBA player because of this but his value will also increase if he were to be used as a trade chip.
It seems like the Celtics are gearing up for something big in the next year and Young just may be involved in it. I’m not saying that Stevens is directly doing this for this reason but it is definitely going to help both Young and possibly the Celtics in the future whether Young becomes a career player in Boston or goes somewhere else in the league.
Brad Stevens also knows what it is like to go from college to the pros because he has seen it himself, as a coach. Its easier for him to see the fact that any player who is good enough to make it to the NBA is a very talented player, most of them can tear it up on offense at their own will. Anyone can pull up from the three point line every possession and score 30 points in a game, but not everyone can play defense well and help their own team against the other very talented offensive players.
Coach Calipari said that Young is, “as long and athletic as anyone in the draft and can really shoot” but that, “he has a ways to go”. Brad Stevens might be making the smartest move with a rookie ever made. Have him help the team defensively. Teach him to play defense, and let the offense come with time.