Celtics hold first practice in Turkey

October, 2, 2012
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe sleep-deprived Celtics on the floor in Turkey on Tuesday.
A glimpse into the Celtics' sleep-deprived first workout in Turkey -- the players hit the gym floor less than five hours after an 11-hour overnight flight -- courtesy of the team's official website:
“That’s a rarity in the NBA, where you try to make sure that they don’t go to bed early,” coach [Doc Rivers] explained. “Usually it’s the exact opposite. But because of the time change and all of that, I thought if we went straight and let them do nothing they would fall asleep at 6 p.m. and sleep the rest of the night away.”

As rare as that decision might have been, Rivers’ players appreciated it. The players walked through a 45-minute practice that consisted of limited installation, shooting around and schematic teaching. That’s far less demanding on the body than a typical practice, but it accomplished the goal of keeping the players out of their beds.

“It’s good for us to really get up and get into the gym. Maybe if we would have slept (after arriving at the hotel) we probably would be up all night,” said captain Paul Pierce. “It’s good for us to get up, get into the gym, and after practice go and have some dinner. Just kind of be on a regular clock schedule.”

The players may be operating on a regular clock schedule, but everyone who made this trip understands that the players’ bodies are not feeling as if they’re on a regular schedule. They’re tired, and Rivers expects them to look that way for at least another 24 hours.

“Tomorrow we’re going to go hard. I don’t anticipate it being a great practice, honestly, but that’s not going to stop us from going our three hours,” said Rivers. “We’re still going to do it. And then hopefully by the next day they’re a little bit better.”

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Jeff Green
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