Brad Stevens or a superstar player: Whom would you take?


This week's mailbag features your questions on the value of the Celtics' head coach, playoff defense and hot 3-point shooting.
You can tweet your questions using the hashtag #peltonmailbag or email them to peltonmailbag@gmail.com.
- yusef (@ryunyusef) May 3, 2018
With Stevens leading a Boston Celtics team playing without All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, his value has become a popular source of debate. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver put the bar very high indeed, finding nearly 50/50 results on a poll asking respondents to choose between Stevens and MVP contender Giannis Antetokounmpo after the first round of the playoffs.
As Ben Falk laid out in a subscription piece on Cleaning the Glass last week, even determining the general value of coaching remains difficult, let alone assessing individual coaches. Yet, as Kevin O'Connor pointed out on The Ringer, there are compelling arguments for the value of a great coach like Stevens: Not only would a team get him (presuming extensions) for longer than any individual player, rewarding him with a high salary doesn't affect the team's salary cap, as is the case with a star player.