Sarah Kustok unveils why Boston’s Brad Steven is Danny Ainge’s MVP on this Celtics team

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Joining Nick Wright, Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe on First Things First to discuss Boston defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-99, Sarah Kustok unveils why Boston's Brad Stevens is Danny Ainge's MVP on this Celtics team. Has Stevens' coaching been the key while Kyrie Irving has been out?

HOST 1: I think this was said when the trade happened, and you've talked about what is Danny Ainge's most valuable asset. Bret Stephens.

HOST 2: Wow, well said. Mm-hm.

HOST 1: He is the guy. He is the reason this team is at the point they're at. And this goes back to the beginning of the season.

2 and 2 since Kyrie's been out, but one of those losses, a double overtime loss to Washington that they could have won. They lost by three points, I think, to Houston. And a lot of these losses in close games and the wins-- it's the system.

It's the system they put in. It's the belief that Brad Stevens instills in them. And I think you see it.

If they are able to have a chance at the end of the game, it's the type of play calling. It's the out of timeouts, the way in which Brad Stevens is able to draw up sets, the execution of that. It starts at the defensive end for this team, how well they work together.

But it doesn't matter what personnel you plug in. They understand where to be. They understand their roles.

And it's similar-- to me, there's a lot of similarities now you're seeing with San Antonio, Greg Popovich, how he plugs in players. It doesn't matter who the personnel is. It's because of the system and how they run things and the understanding that starts during training camp. But I think that's where it all begins.

HOST 3: Liz, for me, you're-- you are preaching my gospel when it comes to Brad Stevens. I think aside from Greg Popovich, he is clearly the best coach in the NBA, and I think including Greg Popovich, when it comes to end of game, out of time out situations, nobody puts their team in a better position to win.