Stevens: Turnovers have 'become less' of problem

Stevens: Turnovers have 'become less' of problem
December 7, 2013, 10:15 am
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BOSTON — Brad Stevens has a certain level-headedness about him, the kind of guy who doesn't see the glass as half empty or half full.

It's just half.

Period.

That consistency applies to his outlook on most of the improvements made by his team of late, including their ability to cut down on turnovers.

While he acknowledges that it's still a problem area for his team, "it's become less of one."

Especially when you chop up the Celtics schedule in three, seven-game chunks.

During those first seven games, there was a lot of uncertainty and leaning-on-the-fly going with the Celtics.

And during that time, players were doing a lot more thinking instead of just playing. When that happens, turnovers tend to grow like weeds.

That was indeed the case for the Celtics during the first seven games when they ranked among the NBA's turnover leaders with 17.4 average.

After the first four games, Stevens made a lineup change by inserting Jordan Crawford in with the first group which allowed Avery Bradley to slide over to the off guard position.

The move not only provided greater balance and ball-handling to the first group, but it also started to manifest itself in wins and fewer turnovers.

Boston's turnover numbers took a slight dip in games 8-14, to an even 17 turnovers per game.

But the best run in terms of limiting turnovers has been the team's last seven games.

A big part of Boston winning five of its last seven has been the fact that turnovers continue to trend downward with the Celtics committing just 14.1 over the last seven games.

In their 106-98 win over Denver on Friday, the Celtics turned the ball over just 10 times which resulted in 11 points for the Nuggets.

After the win, Stevens said he didn't know for sure what the Celtics' season split into three groups of seven would look like.

"I would guess this seven games has been the least," Stevens said. "And getting better."

And that's not half bad.