|Avery Johnson: ‘Rebuilding was the right move’ for Celtics||10.23.13 at 4:10 pm ET|
While New England is concentrating on the World Series, Avery Johnson will be focused only on Wednesday night’s preseason game between the Nets and the Celtics at TD Garden.
Johnson, who coached the Nets for 2½ seasons and was dismissed shortly after the Celtics trounced Brooklyn last Christmas, will be adding a very distinct voice to the ESPN airwaves this season, sharing his insight every Wednesday on “NBA Countdown.”
In a one-on-one interview with WEEI.com, Johnson shared his thoughts on the state of the Celtics, as well as the Nets’ decision to go all-in.
“This is a totally different year for the Celtics,” Johnson said. “A lot of the pieces that were there last year, those guys are pretty much in the twilight and near the end of their careers. They still had a lot of great basketball in them and can carry a team during the regular season, but that was an aging team.”
Johnson, known as the “Little General” during his playing career, believes the Celtics were never the same after Ray Allen’s departure to Miami as a free agent last offseason.
“The loss of Ray Allen was too much,” Johnson said. “They never really were able to fill his shoes in terms of the great work he did on the court for the Celtics over the years during their championship runs.”
Similar to the beginning of his run with the Nets, a team that only won 24 games in 2011, Johnson sees a team in Boston with an uncertain future.
“This was a team that needed to change,” Johnson said. “Obviously we didn’t know the change would occur with Doc Rivers not being a part of it, but everything’s changed. Now the Celtics have a lot of pieces they’re still trying to figure out. They’re still working on how they’re going to play defensively and offensively, and where they’re going, not only now, but in the future.”