WALTHAM, Mass. — As the unofficial second half of the season heats up, the Celtics have dispensed with any talk of how they will proceed after losing Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and former member Leandro Barbosa to season-ending injuries. Subsequently, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge decided against subtracting major players and instead made more modest additions of complementary players.
Newly acquired Jordan Crawford, Terrence Williams, D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph will all face a barrier in transforming to the Celtics way. Due to the amount veterans on the roster, this process will not come easy.
“It is a challenge, because we have veterans,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said prior to practice on Monday. “If we didn’t have veterans, it would be a challenge, but not as much. The new guys are trying to find their own way, but they need to find the Celtics way.”
Any time a newcomer joins a team, the objective is to earn respect as he learns to play within the system. In terms of the Celtics’ recent acquisitions, rest days will be irrelevant, and hard work will have to be assessed either in shootaround or 5-on-5 drills.
“They have practice every day,” Rivers said. “They won’t have any days off. It’s time for them to play catch-up.”
Williams and Crawford have given Celtics fans and staff something to be encouraged about, but what White and Randolph can bring has yet to be seen. With that, the green team will face a tough test in the near future.
The Celtics’ upcoming schedule presents a set of high-caliber, quality opponents like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks. If the Celtics want to make a push for their 18th championship banner, all 15 players on the roster must identify their roles, abide by Kevin Garnett‘s way of “bleeding green” and play with a sense of togetherness — the Celtics way.
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