LAS VEGAS — Kara Lawson’s first NBA coaching job comes with a heavy ration of player development, especially on a team as collectively young as the Celtics.
Above all, she has to prepare the new draft class for the Brad Stevens system.
“The first thing for rookies is understanding our terminology, and understanding the base foundation of our offense and defense,” she said Thursday. “The thing that Brad told us the goal for our young players is when they leave summer league, they have to be good from a foundational perspective of what we’re going to try to do this year.”
Her personal charge, Carsen Edwards, is off to a great start. But the least of Lawson’s concerns is the 6-foot guard’s shooting. Some of Edwards’ greatest challenges, not surprisingly, will come on defense.
“Defensively he has to figure out spacing, depending on the players he’s guarding,” Lawson said. “He has to figure out how to use his length. He’s not very tall, but he has great length — a 6-foot-6 wingspan, so he has to use that to his advantage. We saw the physicality to which he can play defensively. That’s good. He has to work on his off-the-ball defense, and that’s something we talk a lot about. He’s really good on the ball, and he has to improve off the ball. Those types of things, and how he can have an impact on the game offensively.”
A strong voice
Whenever he scouted Wizards games, Stevens would turn the volume up so he could listen to Lawsen, who most recently was a Washington TV analyst. The Celtics coach feels like he’s listened to her voice for a long time.
“You’re in this position to meet a lot of people all the way through this whole deal, so she’s done some games when I was at Butler, she did some games on the radio here, and I listened to any time I was scouting the Wizards, I made sure to turn the volume up because I think she really has great insight,” said the Celtics coach. “Then she started working with that 3-on-3 group at USA Basketball, and even though I didn’t see everything closely, I was paying attention from afar, and everything I had heard about her was just A+. And she’s an A+ person, she’s super smart. Obviously I was excited to get on the phone with her, and excited to talk about coaching.
“I didn’t know she would do it. She had a lot of other good things going on, but she’s going to be great at whatever she puts her mind to, so we’re excited she’s a part of our staff. Joe, we’ve known,” Stevens said of Joe Mazzulla, who along with former Red Claws coach Brandon Bailey moved onto the regular staff from Maine this summer.
“Joe is a tremendous young coach who really has made a huge imprint when he was in Maine. We’ve tried to hire him back on a couple of different occasions before, so we’re excited to have him back …read more
Source:: Boston Herald