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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics are off to a 1-2 start this season, but with just four players returning from last year’s team some growing pains were to be expected.
CSNNE’s Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning, and doesn’t think there is anything to worry about just yet.
“I think we all were a little rushed to think all these guys — Jason Terry has been around, Courtney Lee has been around, Jeff Green has been around — would have no problem mixing in. But they’ve had problems mixing in. If you pull back a little, it makes sense,” said Gorman. “If it’s still not working 25 games in you have chemistry issues you have to deal with. I don’t think its going to be a problem 10-15 games in; I think guys will find their way.”
Doc Rivers said before the season he had three starting rotations he planned on using, and used his second of those three Saturday night in Washington. Rivers elected to start Jared Sullinger, and the rookie responded by pulling down seven rebounds in his 30 minutes on the floor.
Gorman things giving Sullinger the start, and sticking with him during crunch time, will go a long ways for the rookies confidence.
“To stay with Sullinger, I think it did a lot for Jared’s confidence to get the start (against Washington). He has shown he can play down low; I think there was some doubt coming out of college. He could be the best rebounder per minutes played the Celtics have right now, and rebounding has always been an issue with this team. I think Jared is going to be a factor, I think he has a shot to be rookie of the year.”
Sullinger is viewed as a steal from the draft, but rookie of the year?
“He’s going to get a chance to do it for a good team. Anthony Davis in New Orleans is very good, but the team is not that good,” said Gorman. “I think Jared has a chance to put good numbers up for a team that when there is only four teams left out there are still playing.”
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One concern about Sullinger coming into the season was his ability to pick up an NBA defense. But Gorman doesn’t think that will be an issue.
“He will pick it up pretty quick. He seems to be a quick study that way,” he said. “This a guy where there wasn’t a lot of defense required at Ohio State because he was the main offensive guy. A lot of these college programs play a lot of junk zones and things they don’t do in the pros. You have to be an honest man-to-man defender to make in in the NBA, and I think Sullinger is learning to be that and the Celtics system.”
Also, is Jeff Green feeling the pressure of his four-year, $36-million contract? And who does Gorman think is the worst flopper in the NBA?