Quick hits from Celtics practice
January, 10, 2012
By Greg Payne | ESPNBoston.com
Greg Payne/ESPN BostonA glimpse of Celtics practice on Tuesday in Waltham.WALTHAM, Mass. -- Quick hits after the Celtics practiced Tuesday at HealthPoint:
* Pietrus expected to play Wednesday: Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he expects swingman Mickael Pietrus to be in the lineup on Wednesday after a "sensational" day of practice on Tuesday. "He looked great," said Rivers. "Actually, he had a sensational day. He might have been one of our best players today, so that was good." Rivers was confident enough in what he saw to suggest that there will not be a minute restriction on Pietrus in his debut.
* Daniels still out due to illness: Pietrus' debut would come at a good time as swingman Marquis Daniels missed his second consecutive day of practice due to illness. While a final decision on his availability for Wednesday's game hasn't been made, Rivers isn't expecting him to play. "I don't expect Marquis tomorrow, but I don't know," said Rivers. "I mean, we'll see."
* Starters lag, reserves produce: Rivers admitted his starting unit got off to a slow start at practice, but said the second unit's play was encouraging throughout. "The second unit was phenomenal today and the starters didn't have a great practice," said Rivers. "[The starters] did [improve] the second half of practice." Part of that discrepancy has to do with timing, which Rivers noted the starters are still brushing up on, seeing as Paul Pierce missed so much time at the beginning of the season. "I think the second unit has gotten a lot better with [timing]," Rivers said. "The starters still have to come on some."
* Offensively challenged: The Celtics have struggled to produce points in their last two games, including a 25-point first half in their loss to the Pacers on Friday, which tied a franchise-low. But Rivers said his club isn't the only team having issues in that department. In fact, it might be a league-wide pandemic, at least in terms of installing offensive sets. "It's funny, I think all teams will tell you, offensively, as far as sets, they're way behind," said Rivers. "I think they also will tell you what they have in there they're not running well, you know? Dallas has been struggling offensively, and everyone -- except for Miami. They're playing at a different level right now. But they have their starters back, the entire unit back, so they're just picking up where they left off. And Chicago is not scoring at all, but defensively, they look great."