No early shootarounds means more down time

October, 26, 2009

How do the Boston Celtics feel about the team's decision to eschew morning shootarounds on game days? They're not losing sleep over it.

On the advice of Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, a sleep medicine specialist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital, the Celtics have eliminated early game-day shootarounds at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint in Waltham, and have shifted off-day practices to a later start time (typically noon or 1 p.m.)

Most of players embraced the chance to hit the snooze button, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers knew the toughest sells would be two of his key players -- and noted early risers -- Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

Their verdicts?

"I always wake up pretty early; my wife, I don't think she likes it because she has to take the boys to school," Allen said with a smile. "I do get to sleep in a little more. I don't have to get up as early, so when I go to bed, I can sleep in a little bit. ... Once I get up, I feel great, I'm not tired at all. I'm getting a great amount of sleep."

Allen, who is well known for being one of the first to arrive for both practices and games, is enjoying that extra time, particularly because it lets him spend more time with his family.

"I can still [be here early] and still get more sleep," Allen said. "That's the beautiful thing about it. I'm not trying to rush in. Some teams, you figure, practice at 10 a.m., so by 12, they're home and they have the rest of the day. But this way, it's not cramping your morning. Before, we really had to wake up at 7, get breakfast, then you start practicing early. Once everyone gets in now, their bodies are pretty awake. You're not feeling groggy. You don't see that sleep in everyone's eyes. Everybody's up."

Given the fact that most players and coaches don't get to bed until the early morning hours after games, the new measure imposes what the team has dubbed "Celtics Time," a moratorium from around 3 a.m.-11 a.m. reserved for rest and relaxation.

Garnett doesn't seem quite as sold on the change, but he's all for anything that promotes the good of the team.

"It is what it is," said Garnett. "Whatever Doc wants. It ain't my cup of tea, but whatever the [coach] wants. Hell, I don't sleep anyway. It's great. I'll find good in everything. If it means I get to sleep from 8:30-9, so be it."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter,



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