Practice report: No time for double feature
The rundown (a quick look at practice headlines)
* Celtics chat about Houston loss, watch film on Cavs
* Pierce: We still believe we're a championship team
* Beautiful day for an outdoor practice?
* Jamison in, but Varejao out for Cavs
Celtics chat about Houston loss, watch film on Cavs
Following Friday's head-shaking overtime loss to the Houston Rockets, Celtics coach Doc Rivers noted that it would likely be an interesting day of film study. But when the Celtics arrived to practice Saturday, the film being dissected was game tape of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"We talked about [the Houston loss]," said Rivers. "I didn't think we needed to go back there. I thought we needed to move forward. Sometimes you still watch the film, work on it, and then move forward. But with a 1 p.m game [Sunday], we had to chose to move forward. And we have."
The decision falls in line with Boston's long-standing mantra of not dwelling on the past. The Celtics could waste plenty of time lamenting any of their 28 losses -- including the last three at home -- but Sunday's visit from the Eastern Conference-leading Cavaliers could go a long way towards rebuilding confidence that might have eroded during this latest skid.
"[Sunday's game] is important in the way that we've lost three in a row," said Rivers. "It'd be great to win a game, and great to beat Cleveland. But after the game, it goes back to being just another game. Say we beat Cleveland, then take a step back against New York or Toronto, then it wouldn't have been as important. What's important for us is that we've done a lot good things the last two games. Offensively, where we had been struggling, now we're shooting 60 percent and 50-whatever percent [the last two games]... And, defensively, we've been struggling the last two nights. So we have to go back and fix some of that. That's just how it's been this year."
Pierce: We still believe we're a championship team
Celtics captain Paul Pierce stressed his belief that Boston remains a championship-caliber squad despite a seesaw season that currently seems stuck on a low given the three-game losing streak. But Pierce said a lot of that faith comes from how this team deals with adversity.
Pierce detailed how Celtics players talked both after Friday's game and again Saturday morning about how to fix the problems that plagued them in defeat.
"The good thing about us is that, after a game like [Friday], we sit in the locker room and talk about it, or sit in the trainer's room and talk about what we need to do. That's a positive sign. Even in a tough stretch, we manage to stay together and talks things out.
"The tendency is to point the finger or get mad at each other. That's not the case with this team. That's what I love about us. We still believe we can win a championship. We still believe in one another. That's why we do what we do... This team has been through a lot of adversity. For us to still be together, to still talk about it, I have a lot of confidence [in this team]."
Beautiful day for an outdoor practice?
Rivers opened his chat with the media by gushing about the warm weather outside. Asked if he ever considered taking the team outdoors for a session, he joked that he might if they had an outdoor court, before quickly noting that, even then, it probably wasn't feasible.
Not that he hadn't pondered it.
"It would be fun," said Rivers. "There's an outdoor court in Cleveland, right next to the hotel. Sometimes you think, 'Maybe we should use that.' And then you think, 'Maybe not.'"
Jamison in, but Varejao out for Cavs
The Cavaliers are expected to have the services of forward Antawn Jamison (neck stinger) for Sunday's game, but forward Anderson Varejao -- a player that drove Boston nuts in the last two meetings -- will sit out again with a left hamstring injury, according to the team.
Jamison left Friday's win over the Atlanta Hawks in the fourth quarter with the stringer. Jamsion returned from a one-game absence to score 15 points and grab 12 rebounds in the Cavaliers' 104-93 triumph over visiting Boston last month.
Varejao has sat out the past three games with the nagging hamstring. He won't be missed by the Celtics after registering a pair of double-doubles off the bench in the last two meetings between the teams. LeBron James' exploits aside, Varejao may have been the biggest difference between the teams lately with his energy and rebounding.
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