Chemistry lessons for newcomers

February, 27, 2011
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesNenad Krstic (left) and Kevin Garnett (right) are going to have to develop chemistry on the fly.
LOS ANGELES -- The Celtics have used only eight different starting lineup combinations this season, but when newly acquired Nenad Krstic took the opening tip Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, he became the fifth different starting center utilized by Boston this season.

Given Boston's focus on being vocal and their philosophies on help defense, it's not always an easy transition for a newcomer and Kevin Garnett acknowledged that he and Krstic will have to work in the coming days to acquire that chemistry if he's going to hold down that starting role until Shaquille O'Neal can get healthy.

"It's just like [Kendrick Perkins] and my first day [together]," said Garnett. "It's got to be something that both sides want to do and Krstic is open, man. I had a long talk with him [Saturday] when we had shootaround, and just trying to get into his head, teaching him all the schemes and different things. I just need someone to be verbal. I just need someone to communicate. You don't necessarily [have to] be the loudest, but we need you to know how to communicate and he did a good job of that tonight.

"[Krstic and Jeff Green are] open guys. First thing is you have to be open, too. Obviously, they're used to a certain something and, obviously, we tend to think we do things a little different here. The winning ways, we're professional at all times, so a lot of the stuff that we do, a lot of the stuff that we are the examples of, so they'll see it versus hearing it more than anything."

And the newcomers will quickly learn its defense first around here.

"[Defense is] the whole key for us," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "They'll get it. It might take some time and they'll make mistakes on defense, but that's why we'll have [assistant coach] Lawrence [Frank] met with them [Saturday], then do it again [Sunday] with just them. Defense has to go first."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter,



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Jonny Gomes, Red Sox

Red Sox OF Jonny Gomes discusses the atmosphere in Boston, the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, his team's slow start and more.

Larry Lucchino, Red Sox

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino discusses his team's response to the Boston Marathon bombings, how the city bounced back from the tragedy and more.

Donnie Wahlberg, Actor

Actor Donnie Wahlberg talks about this year's Patriots' Day, his experience involving last year's Boston Marathon, security presence in the city and more.

Martin J. Walsh, Boston

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh comments on how this Patriots' Day differs from those in the past, securing the marathon, the role sports plays in the city and more.

Kevin Millar, MLB

MLB Network's Kevin Millar weighs in on the uniqueness of Patriots' Day 2014, the Nationals' benching of Bryce Harper, the brawl during Brewers-Pirates and more.


Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9