MIAMI — Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he watched Wednesday as President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and halted Congress’s count of electoral votes to confirm Joe Biden as president, and his first reaction was sadness.
“I guess the way that I look at it is I think we all hope that the people we elect to lead us are supposed to be modeling leadership, will do so in a way that is motivated by serving others by showing compassion, by acting gracefully,” Stevens said. “And instead we elected a president who, luckily he is on his way out, and others, that have not shown that kind of grace. It’s been consistent.”
Stevens said Trump has operated at a “win at all costs” attitude during his four years in office, and he said that as a coach, he knows that approach will lead to an unfulfilling ending. And in Trump’s case, Stevens said, it is a “disgraceful ending.”
“So I’m looking forward to two weeks from now,” Stevens said, referring to Biden’s inauguration, “as other people are, too.”
Stevens said the Celtics did not gather as a team to discuss Wednesday’s events, but the dialogue since the social justice movement began has been ongoing. The team did talk about the Tuesday decision in Kenosha County, Wis., in which the district attorney there decided not to press charges against the officer who shot Jacob Blake. Also, the Celtics this week discussed the Massachusetts police reform bill. Last month the entire team co-authored an op-ed in the Globe that was critical of Governor Charlie Baker’s decision to remove regulations on facial regulation technology in the bill.
“So it’s been a heavy 24 hours, 48 hours,” Stevens said.
Stevens remains hopeful there are brighter days ahead, but he also understands that there is still much to accomplish regarding these social justice issues.
“I think that ultimately what we have to do from our own seats is just what you all have to do from your own seats is that to contribute in any way we can,” Stevens said, “make sure that we’re part of doing the right thing and make sure that we continue to prioritize it as something we really want to not only talk about, get asked questions about, but do something about. So I’ve been proud to be a part of this group, I’ve been proud to be a part of the NBA group.”
Celtics center Robert Williams and forward Jayson Tatum entered Wednesday’s game against the Heat as Boston’s most dangerous pairing. In their 76 minutes on the court together the Celtics have outscored opponents by an average of 39.4 points per 100 possessions.
“I’d say I just put an emphasis on my job when I get into the game,” Williams said, “that’s to get [Tatum] shots, get him open. Not just him, everyone on the team I support. I take pride in setting good screens. I feel like I’m learning the places guys like to move on the court, what shots they like to take, then I just get out of the way.”
Williams, a third-year big man, has had several promising stretches this season. He entered Wednesday averaging 6.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. He said the game is slowing down for him this year, and he believes he is becoming a more important voice on the court for this team.
“Reliability means a lot to coaches and players around here, as it should,” he said. “So I just want to be the guy that’s always accountable.”
Ojeleye altered shooting form
Semi Ojeleye has made 44.4 percent of his 3-pointers this season. He said that last year, when he connected on a career-best 37.8 percent of his tries, he altered his form by having his elbows more properly aligned and focused on getting more arc on his shot. This year, he said, the positive outcomes have been more a product of his mental approach. “Not having a thought about makes or misses or results, just focusing on the process of shooting the ball the right way and letting the ball go in,” he said . . . Marcus Smart returned to face the Heat on Wednesday after missing Monday’s game against the Raptors because of a thumb injury. Jeff Teague missed his second consecutive game because of a sprained ankle.