BOSTON (CBS) – After an impressive and surprising start to the season, the Boston Celtics are coming back down to earth.
The Celtics have lost four straight and have a pair of tough back-to-backs on the West Coast over the next five days. It’s a trip that play-by-play man Mike Gorman says will really test Brad Stevens and his squad.
“This is going to test the mettle of the team, and is probably the toughest two weeks Brad has had as a head coach,” Gorman told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday. “He’s going to be challenged the rest of the year. He’s going to have more loses at the end of the year than he had in all his years combined. But to his credit, he keeps a stiff upper lip and keeps going forward. The guys still support him and believe what he says. He’s going to be the coach of this team for a long time, it just might not be this team.”
“The hardest they can play might not be good enough,” Gorman said of the C’s the rest of the way. “This team does play hard; they don’t quit. They didn’t in Oklahoma City, because if they did they would have lost by 40. I think the reality of this roster has caught up with them a bit and they’re going to struggle, especially against good teams.”
The play of second-year forward Jared Sullinger has been a bright spot all season, and Sully continues to impress despite his left wrist being in a wrap the past week. Sullinger suffered the injury on New Year’s Eve but has not missed much time on the court, and has averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds in the three games since.
Gorman says the hand is bothering Sullinger, but he doesn’t expect Stevens to sit one of his best players anytime soon.
“The hand is really bothering him, but the glove he is wearing bothers him more,” Gorman said.”He says as soon as he starts to play the first time he gets hit it goes numb for the rest of the game. The problem with the numbness is when it goes numb he can’t grip the ball with his left hand, so he’s kind of playing one-handed out there. It’s interesting to watch because he uses one arm to hold people off and the other to rebound, and is averaging a double-double.”
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“Jared has turned out to be a real key building block for the future,” Gorman said. “It’s too bad he has a hand injury, but he has no back injury and that’s the key. That was the thing everyone said was the big question mark with this kid, and he had the surgery done and, knock on wood, he’s had no relapses. This is a guy who had he been injury-free, people say he would have gone Top 5 [in the 2012 NBA Draft]. The Celtics may have got a real steal in him and I think he’s going to be a cornerstone for this franchise for a long time.”
Gorman also shares his thoughts on the recent Courtney Lee trade and how if the this year’s crop of College Basketball stars are living up to the hype: