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Gorman: Late-Game Struggles Frustrating, But Celtics Still In Early Stages Of Developing Identity

BOSTON (CBS) -- After a few frustrating finishes to games over the last week, the Boston Celtics sit at 3-6 on the young season.

While they've been fun to watch offensively, the Celtics have had issues closing out games. They blew a 19-point fourth quarter lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers last Friday, and had a costly turnover Monday night against the Phoenix Suns late in a tie game that also cost them a potential W in the standings.

CSNNE's Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich on Wednesday to discuss these late-game struggles, and said it's all part of normal growing pains with a young team.

"They're still in the early stages of developing who they are and becoming a team. It's very frustrating that they get to that point and can't get over the hump, but no one expected them to be at that point in the first place. Vegas has an over/under of 25, 26 wins for this team. The Celtics are within three or four possessions of being 6-3 right now as opposed to 3-6," said Gorman. "It seems to me that everybody has ratcheted up their expectations level because the team has played well, and then wants to get pissed off at them when they can't get over the hump."

Part of the issue is that the Celtics don't have a player who can be THE guy when it comes to taking the final shot.

"I don't think as the roster is currently constituted that they have that guy," said Gorman. "That's not to say that somebody, on occasion, can't do it; that Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, or Kelly Olynyk can't hit a shot [in that situation]. But night-in and night-out to be the guy the other team knows is going to get the ball, and [the Celtics] don't care that they know or not because he's going to get the ball and he's going to score, they don't have that guy right now."

Forward Jeff Green is off to a hot start, averaging a team-high 19.9 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the floor. While Gorman says Green doesn't want to be a vocal leader on the team, he could be the guy to take those last-second shots.

"I think Jeff is having a great year. He's not the personality-type to be the vocal leader of this team, but he can be in a Paul Pierce-type; he never wanted to be the vocal leader but he wanted to be that guy down the stretch. Jeff is starting to become that guy and have confidence that he can become that guy," said Gorman. "He is really having a solid year."



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