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Celtics big men Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo get a day off on Wednesday.LAS VEGAS -- Celtics summer league coach Tyronn Lue already had his mind pretty much made up, but watching his very capable offensive team produce just nine points in the fourth quarter of a 79-74 outlasting of the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday only reinforced that Wednesday needed to be a day of rest for the young squad.
Boston won't hold any sort of official practice, with Lue stressing the importance of time off for everyone.
"I can't practice," Lue said after Tuesday's victory. "We come in, draft, after the draft we have a four-day minicamp with the guys, then we fly to Orlando, have four practices in three days, then we play five games straight. We come in and get one day off and then we practice and play back-to-back again. I thought, down the stretch in the second half, guys got a little tired, playing a lot of minutes. I definitely don't want to kill them. They've been going like 16 out of 18 days or something like that."
Lue joked that he hasn't, and won't, instill a curfew for any of his players.
Kris Joseph would have needed the day off anyway, but his hyperextended left knee isn't thought to be a serious injury, and he'll most likely be listed as questionable when the Celtics resume game action on Thursday evening against the Sacramento Kings.
Christmas in July won't end
One player who's looked like he scoffs at the idea of days off is Dionte Christmas, whose effort level has consistently been through the roof through two games in Vegas.
Christmas, who averaged a shade over 12 points per game for the Celtics last week in Orlando, has so far upped that number in Vegas to 14.5 points, to go along with 4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He came through with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting in Boston's victory on Tuesday. Christmas seems to embody the idea of controlled chaos, as he's frequently flying around from spot to spot on the floor, but rarely in a manner that suggests he's playing out of control. One thing that's caught the eye of Lue is Christmas' willingness to guard the opposing team's best perimeter player. Chalk it up to just one more reason why Christmas, at the very least, should garner an invite to Celtics training camp in the fall.
"He's a bulldog and he competes every night," Lue said of Christmas. "Guys like that, who take the personal challenge of guarding the best player on the other team every night, you've got to play that way, and I thought he's doing a good job of doing that."