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Celtics

Gorman On Toucher & Rich: Celtics Hoping For First-Round Match-Up With Knicks

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Celtics forward Jeff Green is defended by Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Celtics forward Jeff Green is defended by Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics are back from their grueling West Coast road trip, preparing for the Golden State Warriors at the Garden on Friday night.

The Celtics currently sit in the at 30-27, the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. It’s not the greatest position, but one that CSNNE’s Mike Gorman thinks they are actually hoping for when the playoffs begin in a month and a half.

“I think they’ll be a little better than .500 (over the next month). I think their goal, their unspoken goal, is to play as well as they can but to stay in the seventh-seed and avoid Miami in the first round,” Gorman told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “Hopefully get the Knicks (in the first round), which would be a lot of fun and a series they have a shot in, and let the chips fall as they may after that.”

The Celtics will welcome in D.J. White on Friday, if his release papers from China come in, giving them some more size on the floor — something Boston desperately needs.

“He had a decent NBA career until he went to China during the lockout and stayed over there,” Gorman said of White. “The Celtics need some size and he’s 6-9, 250-pounds. He’s been with the team a little bit, and he’s a legit big guy. He had some good numbers in China, but then again, who hasn’t had good numbers in China.”

A very detailed article on Rajon Rondo was in this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated, covering everything from his passion for “Connect Four” to his mindset on the court. Brian Scalabrine joined T&R on Wednesday and said Rondo is one of — if not the — smartest players in the NBA. Does Gorman agree?

“He’s right near the top. I always thought Rondo was an intelligent player, but Scal thinks he’s one of the smartest players he’s been around. I think Rondo is a very gifted play-maker and a gifted player,” said Gorman. “The thing with Rondo is he needs the ball in his hands for an extended period time to be the great player he is, and the question is can you win that way? The Celtics showed they could win that way, winning a championship with him as their point guard.”

“As he grew and as they turned the team over to him more, that responsibility seemed to grow in his mind and the ball seemed to be spending more time in his hands,” Gorman continued. “I think when Rondo comes back you’re going to see a slightly different player, because he’s witnessed the success this team can have with ball movement as opposed to him dominating the ball.”

Speaking of dominating the ball, Golden State’s Stephen Curry torched the Knicks for 54 points on Wednesday night in a losing effort. Curry and the Warriors come to Boston on Friday, and Gorman is hoping he won’t have to call too many Curry baskets that evening.

“He’s borderline great. I don’t like to throw great around but he’s a great scorer and certainly on an amazing roll,” Gorman said of Curry. “I look forward to seeing him play; I just don’t want to see what he did to us in Golden State (when he scored 22 points).”

Of course this time around, the Celtics will have Avery Bradley to throw at Curry.

“That’s worth the price of admission right there,” said Gorman.

Also, find out who Gorman thinks is the main draw to get free agents to Boston. And will Doc Rivers end up coaching the USA Basketball team?

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