The Celtics are off to a slow start after a Christmas day loss to the New York Knicks and another loss to the Miami Heat. The New Orleans Hornets are next up for the Green.
With Toucher & Rich out Ryan Johnston and Mike Flynn were in and they were joined by Ken Berger of CBS Sports to discuss the Celtics. The guys discussed the loss to the Heat, Rajon Rondo, the age of the Celtics and the compacted season.
Read: Celtics-Hornets Preview
With an 0-2 start to the season many would start to think it’s time to panic, but Berger doesn’t think so.
“Well it’s way too early for that and they don’t have Paul Pierce so you really have to reserve all judgement until he comes back. They’re also going to get some help with Mickael Pietrus when he’s in the mix so I think it’s going to be very easy to overreact in this shortened season.”
Before the season there was talk of Rajon Rondo being used as trade bait and trying to bring in some other talent. What are Berger’s thoughts of Rondo’s play so far this season?
“I think he recognizes that without Pierce somebody has to be a play maker and kind of put pressure on the defense and that exactly what he does. Ray Allen is so good without the ball in his hands really when you don’t have Pierce, Rondo is the only guy who can put pressure on the defense with the ball in his hands.”
When Pierce returns is there a chance that Rondo’s game changes and he goes back his pass first shoot second game?
“I think to a degree he’ll have to. Pierce is the guy that teams have to load their defense toward and play with multiple defenders and I think that Rondo understands that and the Celtics have to use that advantage in their half court offense.”
The Celtics are 0-2, the Lakers are 1-2 and the Mavericks are 0-2 to start off the season. Will these veteran team just slosh around out there in the regular season and make the playoffs?
“I think if you’re a team like Dallas, if you’re a team like the Lakers, if you’re the Celtics you’re just trying to get through, you’re trying to survive it as best you can and hope you have your healthy bodies ready to go for the playoffs.”
Age is a big concern with players like Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Doc Rivers has said that he’s going to try to give those guys breaks when he can to try and preserve them. Is this Celtics team deep enough to still be competitive when they get into the heart of the season and Doc does have to scale the big guys back?
“I’m a little concerned about their interior depth, actually their interior front. When you look at Jermaine O’Neal their starting center 22 minutes and one rebound no points, I mean that is just brutal and it’s not going to get it done.”
Listen as Berger fills the guys in on what team he thinks is in the best position with this compacted schedule.