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The 2011-12 season will bring several new components to the Boston Celtics team. Along with the condensing of games, free agency has been pushed into a much, much smaller window. If you combine that with the extra time that players usually have to adapt to new teammates, you have one tough issue to deal with.
So far, the newest members of the team are Brandon Bass, Keyon Dooling, Chris Wilcox, rookies E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson—subject to roster approval, and camp invite Greg Stiemsma.
Reacquainting himself with the old squad is Marquis Daniels, who seems to have been victorious after a bout with a massive spinal injury that ended his 2010-11 season, leaving him available for the Celtics in the free-agent market this season.
A healthy Daniels would bolster the defensive mentality that the organizations seems to be shooting for, once again.
According to ESPN's Chris Forsberg, the Celtics veterans have been irritated with the impact that the lockout/brief training camp has had on the overall feeling of togetherness amongst the players.
"Timing is everything,” said Garnett. “Chemistry is something that you don't just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y’all know what I’m talking about. If y’all can’t cook, this doesn’t concern you."
Ray Allen also spoke on the subject.
“I feel very rushed,” said Allen. “I can’t say that I’ve been particularly happy with the way things have transpired over the last two or three weeks, but I think everybody is in a situation where we just have to do the best with what we have. We have to adjust to the situation at hand, and it’s a challenge for all of us. We’re all going through it, so there’s nothing more you can do about it but prepare yourself physically and mentally."
The Celtics aren't the only squad that has work to do in terms of meshing things together, but they have been one of the more active teams in free agency.
Rivers will need to do everything in his power to tie the new players together, both on and off the court. After all, the best defensive teams are marked by their ability to operate as one, cohesive unit.
In only 66 games, it will prove to be a daunting task.