BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics are back, as the season tips off Wednesday night at the TD Garden against the Brooklyn Nets.
That means Mike Gorman is back on Toucher & Rich to give his insight on Boston’s basketball team, who enter the season with some high expectations. Pundits have them winning at least 50 games and many are picking them to the the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. Gorman knows they’ll be a good team after adding Al Horford to a squad that won 48 games last season, but he’s worried about all that preseason hype on the national stage.
“They’re going to be good. I’m a little concerned about the national media conceding them as No. 2 in the East,” said Gorman. “I think it’s going to be a fight with Toronto, Indiana and I think Detroit is going to be a lot better. That being said, this is a team that could win 50-plus games and get into the second or third round of the playoffs.”
Gorman said newcomer Horford will fit in just fine, and he’s excited that rookie Jaylen Brown has earned himself some early minutes with a strong preseason. The biggest issue for head coach Brad Stevens this year will be finding minutes for everyone.
“That’s going to be the biggest problem that Brad has, dividing up the minutes. He has 10-11 guys who can play the game,” said Gorman. “They’ll be a defensive team primarily and will be a lot of fun to watch when [Marcus] Smart gets back and he’s on the floor with Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.”
The Celtics are priding themselves on their defense, after finishing last season with the sixth-best defensive rating in the NBA, and Gorman thinks they could be one of the best teams in the league on that end of the floor.
“I asked Brad [Stevens] if they’ll be a team that would win last second games by making shots or making stops, and he said without hesitation ‘making stops.’ They see themselves as a defensive team and think they can be the best defensive team in the league, and that’s a reasonable expectation,” said Gorman.
Gorman also touched on the Celtics’ outside shooting, who will contribute off the bench, and how the Warriors will handle being a super team with Kevin Durant. Listen to the full interview below: