WALTHAM With so many new faces, you have to wonder how the Boston Celtics' chemistry will come together this season.
"Phenomenal" is how coach Doc Rivers describes it.
"Not very good," he said.
It's not all that surprising when you consider that the C's roster has been put together so quickly, and that there's been little time to practice because of the condensed preseason schedule that concludes Wednesday night against Toronto.
"The continuity is going to take time," he said.
That's the one thing that C's and their revamped roster don't have a lot of right now, not with the season opener only five days away.
Boston currently has 13 players with guaranteed contracts. Of those 13, only six were with the team at the end of last season. Marquis Daniels was not included in that total because the C's traded him to Sacramento, in February.
When you talk about continuity, it has to do with the little things, like knowing how to screen for Ray Allen, or how to catch a Rajon Rondo pass in transition, and finish.
"It definitely takes time," forward Chris Wilcox, one of the team's newcomers this season, told CSNNE.com. "For me, it's helping my game because I have to go against it every day in practice. So working on my defense and things like that, it's really helping me out, too."
Wilcox agrees that the team's chemistry is surprisingly strong considering how the team was essentially thrown together in a matter of days.
As far as the continuity that's definitely a work in progress.
"All the players and coaches we have around, just bringing us all together, making sure we're on the same page; it's going to take a little time," Wilcox said. "But we're definitely getting better, learning each others' games more and more each day."
Rivers pointed out how Wilcox seemed to have the kind of practice on Tuesday that exemplifies both the good and bad that come about when you're bringing together a bunch of new faces.
"Chris had a stretch today that everyone started cheering, 'Hey, he's a Celtic'," Rivers recalled. "And then he had another stretch where he was lost, he was the new guy. That's just what happens."
It's going to be like that for a while, especially for the new guys.
"The guys who have been here, no matter what we do different, they're still ahead because they know each other," Rivers said. "The new guys are trying to figure it out. They're getting it slowly."
Wilcox sees improvement both in the play of the new guys, and their overall understanding of what they can do to help the Celtics be successful.
"We all know who we are, understand what our roles are, and so do the starters," Wilcox said. "It's just a matter of us playing with each other, working together in practice, spending time around each other; just learning each other's games. We're all starting to bond more, gel more and it's starting to show more in practice and hopefully we can carry that over into games, too."