Howard: "Absurd" Stevens Didn't Get A Vote

Brad Stevens didn't get a single vote for Coach of the Year

Taz and the Moose
May 16, 2018 - 9:44 am

USA Today Images


Despite losing Gordon Hayward on opening night, and despite losing Kyrie Irving late in the season, Brad Stevens still guided the Boston Celtics to the fourth-best record in the NBA (55-27) and the Eastern Conference Finals, which they lead 1-0 against Cleveland.

And yet, Stevens did not get a single vote for NBA Coach of the Year.

Former Butler star Matt Howard couldn’t believe it.

“Yeah, it definitely did (surprise me),” Howard said on Taz & The Moose. “I got to be really clear: I am obviously very biased. I think he’s great. He’s the best coach that I’ve played for. But I really couldn’t understand that, the job that he’s done. I want people to think about how many teams in the league where you can lose your two best players and still be in the (conference finals)? Tell me, how many teams would do that? It’s absurd to think that the coaches don’t recognize that. Maybe they know stuff that we don’t.”

Taz & Moose wonder if other coaches are simply jealous of Stevens’ success.

“What other conclusion can you make?” Howard said. “I think that’s the only thing that makes sense when you really think about it.”

Howard, 29, played at Butler from 2007-11 and helped the Bulldogs to a pair of national runner-up finishes. He keeps in touch with Stevens.

“I send him a message every once in a while,” Howard said. “Obviously with the success that he’s had, you want to recognize that even if some others aren’t. Obviously the media has really seen what he’s able to do and recognize it, but I like talking to him from time to time and just seeing what he’s thinking. He’s a great mind when you’re still playing the game. You want to pick at it sometimes.”

Howard was asked why Stevens has been so successful.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily one thing,” Howard said. “I think he does as good as any of preparing his team. He knows what teams are doing and his awareness of what’s going on on the floor really sets him apart. A lot of people have always talked about his demeanor. He’s so cool. When you’re getting worked up and agitated, it can take you out of the game a little bit where you’re not focused exactly on what the other team is doing. A lot of that success late or out of timeouts, that comes from his focus and awareness, but also from being prepared. He’s seen that. He knows what he’s looking for, and he exploits it. I think that’s a big part of what makes him really successful."