WALTHAM, Mass. -- As most of the Celtics scrambled off the practice floor with the team set to catch an afternoon flight to Philadelphia for Tuesday's exhibition clash with the 76ers, Kevin Garnett got in some extra shooting, then pulled rookies Semih Erden and Luke Harangody onto the floor for some extended pick-and-roll defense lessons (with a hefty focus on being vocal during the process).
It was a veteran teaching moment you don't see every day with Garnett, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressed that he wants to help players he believes have bright futures.
"He helps the ones he likes," said Rivers. "That's true. Kevin's great and, I won't use names, but Kevin tries to help every big that comes in here. If that big doesn't listen to him one time, he'll never speak to him again. Literally, not speak to them. That's happened a couple of times and it's been good for that guy. Now, the two guys that he did get to, are no longer here and that may be one of the reasons. If you're not going to listen to Kevin when he's trying to help you, you're probably messed up.
"That's Kevin. When you talk about the 'Celtics Way,' you might as well just say Kevin Garnett. And then you're pretty much there. Everything he does and says is for the team."
Garnett grabbed and pulled at both Erden and Harangody throughout the session, imploring the two soft-spoken rookies to be more vocal when playing defense.
"[Garnett] didn't think Semih was showing [in the pick-and-roll Sunday night vs. the Raptors] and his angles were bad," said Rivers. "That was affecting the team [Sunday] and that's what that was about."
LOOSE BALLS: SHAQ TO SIT; DAVIS OK
* Rivers said he plans to sit Shaquille O'Neal during Tuesday's game in Philadelphia and might do the same with other veterans, but hasn't figured out exactly how it will work as the Celtics prepare for a stretch of four games in five days, including a pair of back-to-backs, that will take the team from Philadelphia to New York City to Toronto to Hartford, Conn.
"Shaq will not go [Tuesday]; I'm not sure who will go [vs. the 76ers]," said Rivers. "Shaq won't go, it's his hip or something, I don't know what it is. And I was going to sit him anyway. I might sit three or four guys, I'm not positive about that yet. Jermaine [O'Neal] will go, but that's a decision we have to make. I wanted to see Jermaine with the starting lineup, but now I might sit other guys, so maybe we'll wait until New York. It's a back-to-back and I don't want our [veteran] guys playing in both games. I have no idea, we'll wait until we get on the plane and into the meetings."
* Celtics forward Glen Davis, who left Sunday's game in the second quarter after suffering what the team dubbed a "nose contusion," looked no worse for the wear Monday and deemed himself fine. "It was a serious hand-slap to the face," Davis joked while describing the blow endured while taking a charge from Toronto's David Andersen with 10:48 to play in the second quarter. "Doc took me out. It is what it is. I'm here at practice today and it was a great practice." Davis is expected to be on the floor Tuesday night in Philadelphia.