• Boston coach Brad Stevens left the college game nearly four years ago now, after leading his hometown Butler University team to consecutive NCAA Final Four championship games in 2010 and 2011. You can take the coach out of college, but you can’t take all of the college out of the coach.
“One of the things I always wanted to do was really appreciate those times,” he said. “With the opportunity to go through that and live those back-to-back Final Fours but also the multiple NCAA tournament wins and appearances, I feel like I lived a lifetime in just 13 years in the college game. I don’t reminisce too much about it, but I certainly appreciate the opportunities and more so the people I got to go through it with.”
• The Wolves’ only visit of the year to Boston and its Garden brought back memories for Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who both won a title there as an associate head coach to Doc Rivers in 2008 and also used to come from Connecticut to watch the Celtics in his younger days.
“When I went to school up here, they weren’t very good the first year and then when Bird and McHale got here, we couldn’t get near the place,” said Thibodeau, who played at nearby Salem State. “So we watched like everyone else. But it was great. You watched the games, you listened to [famed Celtics announcer] Johnny Most on the radio. The mid-’80s and the Celtics, that era was unbelievable. … There’s no other organization like this, and it’s special to be part of it. To win a championship with that group of guys, you join the other 16 championship teams. It was a special group.”