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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics fell to the Nets at the Garden Wednesday night, 101-93. The C’s have dropped four of their last six games and fell two and a half games behind the sixth-place Atlanta Hawks. If there are no drastic changes from now until the playoffs the Celtics would be facing the red-hot New York Knicks in the first round.
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich to discuss this Celtics team as the playoffs approach, and what head coach Doc Rivers might have planned against the Knicks.
The Celtics have been going with a big lineup with Paul Pierce, Jeff Green and Kevin Garnett all in the starting five. It’s a lineup that creates mismatches for the opposition, but how is it working chemistry-wise for Boston?
“I like getting Green on the court to begin the game. I think every day that goes by that he plays with Pierce and Garnett at the same time is a help, and I think that lineup – as much as a quick two can give Pierce a hard time on the defensive end, Pierce will give any two the Knicks want to put out there problems because he’ll post them up,” said Gorman.
When Garnett and/or Pierce were out with injuries, Green was the go-to guy for offense. Now with the two future Hall of Famers back in the fold, Green is taking a backseat on offense, something Gorman says he will need to get used to over the next week.
“I think he’s still adjusting. We saw how good he could be when he was ‘the guy’ and the main option, now he has to function as the second or probably third option on offense. That will be the test for him,” explained Gorman. “I think he’s done OK so far; I think they’ll try to start him and start that unit over the next four games and at least get 15-20 minutes of those guys playing together.”
Once the playoffs begin, the Celtics will have some free time to hit the practice floor which should be a big help for Green.
“The Celtics don’t practice much at all, no different from any other NBA team. There’s just no time to practice, whereas when you get into the playoffs you settle down and have a day off, at least. The NBA has a way of stretching out the first round like it goes on forever,” said Gorman. “All of that benefits a guy like Jeff Green – it gives him some practice time in with the starting unit. I expect big things from Jeff in the playoffs. He could be the difference in this first round series against New York.”
Also, guard Avery Bradley hasn’t been playing up to his level lately. Will he turn it around come playoff time? And who would Gorman rather see in the first round: The Knicks or Pacers?