Celtics coach Brad Stevens said there is no disconnect between him and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge as the team fights for a playoff berth, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald writes. Stevens has not been asked by Ainge to use younger players at the expense of winning, according to Bulpett, who points out that rookie James Young has lost his spot in the rotation. Ainge made several trades this season with an eye to the future, including deals that shipped out veterans Rajon Rondo and Tayshaun Prince. “To me, there doesn’t need to be any separation. This is the focus we have,” Stevens said to the team’s beat reporters. “Obviously [Ainge] has got to look at everything from a roster standpoint and the development standpoint and everything else, but I think our progress as a team and the way we’re progressing, all that stuff goes hand in hand.”
In other news around the Eastern Conference:
- Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy is unhappy about his team playing 22 back-to-backs this season, tying his team with the Hornets for the most in the league, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Van Gundy believes the problem is due to the league’s contract with TNT which prevents teams from scheduling games on most Thursday nights, Langlois adds. “If you looked at the schedule and said, they’ve got 45 home games and they’ve only got 37, everybody would go crazy,” Van Gundy said to Langlois. “But on the back to backs, we don’t say anything. I think that is something to be addressed.”
- Jarell Eddie will not receive a second 10-day contract from the Hawks, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveals. Eddie, whose first 10-day contract expires on Saturday, did not appear in any games after he was signed away from the D-League’s Austin Spurs. He will likely return to Austin, Vivlamore continues.