By A. Sherrod Blakely
PHILADELPHIA Nenad Krstic has been better than just about anyone in Celtics Nation could have hoped for.
But even he recognizes the need for him to improve defensively.
By no means was he the only Celtics starter to make some mistakes in defensive coverages.
However, being that he is the new guy in the starting lineup, well, he acknowledged that it hasn't been as smooth a transition to this starting lineup as he would have liked.
"It's more pressure, because I don't want to mess up (with the starters)," Krstic told CSNNE.com. "I feel really bad now. We've lost two games in a row. And I feel responsibility just because new guy and like I said, just more pressure when you're whole season is here different."
And if there's one thing Krstic has learned so far, it's that it doesn't take much to throw an entire defensive coverage scheme out of synch.
"You just need one guy to make a mistake and the whole defense becomes a little weaker," Krstic said. "That's happening right now, especially with first unit. I'm still learning. Sometimes I make a mistake, so guys try to help me. All the new guys are really trying to fit in. Everybody's playing hard. Everybody giving 100 percent. So it's not like the effort isn't there. It's just getting more familiar with the system."
While Krstic has certainly had his share of issues defensively, he did just drop 16 points and 15 rebounds - his first double-double with the Celtics - which came after a 20-point, nine-rebound effort against the Los Angeles Clippers.
No, Boston has bigger problems than Krstic.
Specifically, their Big Four of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
All have struggled to some degree during Boston's current two-game skid.
Until they get on track, the C's are going to struggle.
"The starting five, we have to do a better job of closing the game out," said Rajon Rondo. "We dug a hole two games in a row. You give a young team confidence, it's hard to turn it off."
While the C's do include Krstic, the team's turn-around has to come from within the Big Four.
"Absolutely," Garnett said. "This is definitely on the four of us to get it done. And we haven't done that. We'll get better."