BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics open up their home portion of the 2012-13 season Friday night when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at the TD Garden.
The Celtics dropped their season opener 120-107 Tuesday night in Miami, looking extremely sloppy on the defensive end of the floor.
CSNNE’s Mike Gorman, who will have the call for Friday’s game, joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Friday morning, and although he wasn’t able to watch the game thanks to Hurricane Sandy knocking out his power, knows the Celtics D will improve over time.
“The Celtics make their reputation on the defensive end of the floor. They’ll make corrections, but it will take a while with a lot of new faces on this roster,” said Gorman. “I think it’ll take probably 15-20 games. That’s not to say teams are going to score 120 points on them. I think the Celtics defensive egos were bruised badly (Tuesday) night and I think Milwaukee will pay something of a price for that this evening.”
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“There’s a lot of new faces on this roster getting used to a system they’ve never played before,” said Gorman. “Offensively, the Celtics played pretty well but defensively they just weren’t there (in Miami).”
The Celtics struggled mightily when Kevin Garnett was not on the floor, something they’ll have to get used to throughout the season. How can Doc Rivers work around not having Garnett on the floor?
“He’s going to have to do it by committee,” said Gorman. “If you’re going to break down the Celtics team and say what are their weaknesses, the two from where I sit are backup center and backup point guard. I don’t think either of those positions have been resolved, and will be somewhat resolved by committee.”
“The Celtics need Kevin Garnett on the floor, but this team is deep enough that you will be able to have him on the floor down the stretch in the games, and that’s when you want him on the floor,” said Gorman. “When you look at the box score at the end of the game, you’re going to see 31-32 minutes and not 41-42 minutes. That’s the big challenge for Doc, to keep Rondo, Garnett and Pierce in the low 30’s.”
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Garnett made headlines following Tuesday’s loss for his snub of former teammate Ray Allen. Upon checking in for the Heat for the first time, Allen approached the Celtics bench and hugged Rivers, shook hands with all the assistant coaches, and gave Garnett a pat on the shoulder. KG ignored Ray, and has been criticized for giving his former teammate the cold shoulder.
Gorman agrees with Garnett though.
“I think Kevin is getting a bad rap,” he said. “If you look at the assistant coaches behind the bench, as Ray greeted each one of them they weren’t exactly like a wedding receiving line. They had straight faces and were kind of surprised by what was going on. Doc, I think, got ambushed on the sidelines and had no way to react other than the way he did.”
“I’m all for Kevin. It’d be one thing if Kevin snubbed him at a charity dinner six months from now after the season, but this was a game. Kevin is an old-fashioned warrior; that’s how he plays and who he is. I think Ray made a mistake,” said Gorman.
How does Gorman think the Garden crowd will treat Ray come January 27th? And Gorman sings some high praises for LeBron James, calling him the best player he’s ever seen play. But is he better than Michael Jordan? Find out what Mike Gorman has to say on Toucher & Rich!