BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning to talk about the new-look Celtics and their success over the last week.
Boston’s basketball team is 4-0 over the last two weeks despite playing without All Star point guard Rajon Rondo.
“For Rondo to be Rondo the ball has to stay in his hands, and that has been what’s now freed up with the Celtics. Now there is nobody that needs to have the ball in their hand for half the shot clock for something to happen,” said Gorman. “The ball is moving around, and guys are getting touches. When guys get touches, guys play happy and play harder.”
“They all stepped their games up. How long they can keep their game up we’ll find out over the next week,” said Gorman, pointing out tough matchups with the Raptors, Lakers and Nuggets are coming this week. “We’ll know a lot more by the time we talk next week how good this group is, but so far they’ve been fun to watch.”
The Celtics also lost rookie forward Jared Sullinger for the rest of the season due to a back injury, putting even more strain on their already-thin front court. The C’s are in search of a big, but Gorman notes they aren’t the easiest of players to find on the open market and the Celtics don’t have many options as trade chips.
“They have to find a big, I don’t know if they have to trade for a big. They’re so shorthanded without Rondo and Sullinger you don’t want to give up a whole lot. Bigs aren’t easy to come by; there are not a lot of guys floating around,” he said. “Will Danny (Ainge) pull the trigger on a deal if it makes the deal better? Yes, no question about it. One of the reasons Danny is so good at his job is he focuses on what his job definition is and not the sentimentality around it. He can be kind of cutthroat at times, but that’s his job – to make the Celtics better. And he will do what he needs to do to make the Celtics better.”
Rookie Fab Melo made his NBA debut Friday night against Orlando, logging three minutes, but he shouldn’t be looked at as the answer to the Celtics’ needs.
“Fab is going to get a look here just because of the numbers game,” said Gorman. “I’ve been told, and the Celtics have been upfront about this since they draft him, that Fab is a project… nobody ever said he would be a factor this year.”
“I’m not trying to knock Syracuse, but they teach them to play a 2-3 zone. The problem when they come to the pros is they haven’t played man-to-man defense in 2-3 years. So Fab has a lot of learning.”