Toucher & Rich

BOSTON (CBS) – Just hours after Cleveland’s 31-point annihilation of the Boston Celtics and the latest installment of jaw-dropping athleticism by “King James,” longtime Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman described LeBron with one simple phrase.

“I’ve said this before, and this gets me in trouble here in my hometown of Boston, but he’s the best player I’ve ever seen. Hands down.”

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Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Wednesday morning to talk about the Celtics’ playoff chances in light of their 110-79 blowout loss to LeBron and the Cavs.

Boston remains in the thick of the playoff race, trailing two games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 24 games remaining. While the Celtics have been playing consistently competitive as of late, including a narrow five-point loss to the NBA’s best Golden State Warriors, Tuesday night was all LeBron.

“LeBron was just not going to lose that game. He was really upset about missing all those free throws on Sunday. He never smiled until they took him out of the game,” said Gorman.

In only 26 minutes of court time, James scored 27 points on 12-23 shooting, including a 21-point explosion in the first half. Gorman noted that the C’s aren’t ready to beat the powerhouse NBA teams, but they need to take care of the lower-tier teams in the coming weeks.

“They’ve got to beat the teams that they can beat — like the Utah’s of the world tonight, they have to beat Orlando, they have to beat Miami. Their fate is in their own hands,” said Gorman.

Forward Jared Sullinger’s season-ending injury and center Kelly Olynyk’s day-to-day ankle injury has forced the Celtics to switch to a smaller lineup, often depending on outside shots for success.

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“We’re going to have to play small ball and hit our threes. They didn’t hit threes last night, and they were out of the game real quick,” said Gorman.

So what’s the ceiling for this Boston squad?

“I think they can get the eight spot, I really do,” said Gorman.

The Celtics host the Utah Jazz Wednesday night for a 7:30pm tip-off.

Listen below:

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Hear every game of the 2014-15 Boston Celtics season on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Celtics. Pregame coverage with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell begins 30 minutes prior to every game! Occasionally a scheduling conflict will arise, in which case the Celtics can be heard on our sister station 100.7 WZLX.