- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Fresh off a taxing, five-game West Coast road trip, Celtics coach Doc Rivers gave his players two days off to rest and recover. Boston will be back on the practice court Thursday afternoon.
If you include the flight out to Denver, the Celtics racked up about 8,000 miles of frequent-flier travel over a seven-day span, ping-ponging between time zones along the way. Boston went 2-3 on the grueling trek, salvaging the trip a bit with a scrappy overtime triumph Monday night in Utah.
With only one game over the next seven days, Rivers can afford to give his team some downtime. He had to rest Kevin Garnett for a game but ran with a tightened, playoff-like eight-man rotation against the Jazz, and even the youngest players have to be yearning for a break.
After Monday's win, during captain Paul Pierce's postgame interview on Comcast SportsNet, he joked, "The 35-and-up group will probably get a couple days off. Everyone else will get back to work." Pierce, of course, is 35 (he'd be joined in the vacation club by 36-year-old Garnett and 35-year-old Jason Terry).
Practice time is important for Boston moving forward, and it's likely that some of the newer faces -- deadline acquisition Jordan Crawford and 10-day-contractor Terrence Williams -- will log some additional time at the practice facility getting settled and diving deeper into the team's playbook. D.J. White -- when officially inked later this week once his clearance letter from China (finally) arrives -- will likely have the luxury of a practice while diving into the start of his own 10-day deal.
Boston can't get too comfortable. The Celtics are home for a week, with only Friday's visit from the Golden State Warriors on the schedule, but four of their next five games are back on the road in a travel-heavy finish to the regular season.
7dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann