BOSTON (CBS) – With the addition of four new players, and subtraction of five, the Celtics have a chemistry lesson to study for.
The Celtics traded their starting center in Kendrick Perkins, while adding another in Nenad Krstic. Jeff Green is now coming off the bench in Nate Robinson’s place. Troy Murphy and Sasha Pavlovic were signed as free agents to provide more depth.
Now it’s just about getting them comfortable with the system, and developing chemistry before the playoffs.
“Chemistry is built off of what guys like to do, their likes and dislikes,” Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said at practice on Thursday. “We’re very upfront with each other, brutally honest with each other. But it’s made us a closer and better team. Those guys fall right in line, they fit right into our team and what we’re about.”
“Chemistry happens not only in practice and in games, it happens off the court too,” Captain Paul Pierce added. “They’ll pick up how we are as a team, they’ll be able to run the plays but it’s just about getting in, being comfortable with it and just not thinking so much about what you’ve done in the past because sometimes your role changes when you come to other teams. I think the players we have are going to do a good job implementing them.”
After struggling a bit in his first few games with Boston, swingman Jeff Green is starting to look more comfortable. The “Deer in Headlights” look is fading, and he is getting used to his new role of coming off the bench. Green scored six points off three-for-six shooting in 17 minutes against the Suns Wednesday night. Krstic has fit in well since joining the team, starting all three games and averaging 11 points and five rebounds.
Murphy showed some rust Wednesday, missing all three shots he took and hauling in just two rebounds in 14 minutes. Pavlovic was able to practice with the team Thursday, but Doc Rivers and his coaching staff will have their hands full the next couple weeks implementing the new guys into the system.
“What we’re trying to do as a staff is watching a ton of film,” Rivers said. “We’re trying to figure out what they do well, and then try to put that in our offense and try to run it that way. It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be tough, but we’re going to get it done.”
The Celtics do not have much time to get the new guys acquainted, with “Big Baby” Glen Davis missing the next three to five days with tendonitis and Shaquille O’Neal still recovering from an Achilles injury.
“It’s not nice that they don’t know what we’re doing, but it’s still nice that they’re out there,” Rivers said of the new players being forced into action. “Maybe this is good for them in a sick way that they have to be force-fed, we have to throw them in there regardless and we just have to figure it out.”