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Monday, February 8, 2010
Monday's practice report: Pierce sits, Davis celebrates

By Chris Forsberg

WALTHAM, Mass. -- A collection of news and notes after the Celtics practiced Monday at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint:

The rundown (a quick look at practice headlines, click a link to jump to that section)

Doc: Pierce limited, questionable for Wednesday's game



Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team pulled captain Paul Pierce out of practice Monday afternoon to rest his sprained left mid-foot injury and he is questionable to play Wednesday night when the team visits the New Orleans Hornets.

"Paul didn't do a lot today," said Rivers. "We actually pulled him out early. He practiced, but he wasn't moving well and we just took him out. He's questionable. I think he's going to play, but right now we'll wait and see."

Pierce was spotted on the court at the end of practice, but retreated to the training room as players wrapped up the session with free-throw work.

Rivers said that Marquis Daniels participated without limitation in the hour-long practice and continues to look "great" after returning to the lineup for the first time since missing 28 games after undergoing surgery on his left thumb.

As for his team's recent struggles, particularly the third-quarter collapse against the Orlando Magic on Sunday, Rivers said the team watched tape Monday and knows what needs to be corrected.

"There's so many little things, but all those add up," said Rivers. "It's not easy. It's not one glaring thing. We watched film and there were so many little things, at both ends of the floor. When we need a stop, we're not getting a stop. When we need a basket, we're not getting a basket. It's an execution thing. We know we can do it, but we haven't done it yet. So maybe we don't know we can do it, and we have to work on that. We had a really good day today, but we have to keep working. One day is not going to turn this around."

Rivers also liked the way his veteran team responded to being criticized for its lack of discipline following Sunday's loss.

"They responded with a great practice, so that's good," said Rivers. "We have to get back to work, back to that workman mentality, back to being the best defensive team in the NBA. We have to get back to executing better. We can't just keep relying on guys coming back from injuries. That's thrown us off because of a lack of practice time, but that's become an excuse around here and we're not going to allow that. We can't allow that."

Saints' victory forces change in Celtics' travel plans



The New Orleans Saints' triumph over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV Sunday is forcing the Celtics to rearrange their travel plans.

Boston was scheduled to fly to New Orleans for Wednesday's game against the Hornets on Tuesday afternoon after a practice in Waltham. Advised that the city of New Orleans will essentially be shut down when the Saints' victory parade begins, the Celtics will instead fly out Tuesday morning to avoid navigation headaches.

For Louisiana native Glen Davis -- who emerged from the training area after Monday's practice and hollered a celebratory, "Who dat!?" -- it's incredibly divine timing as he will not only return home in time to see the Saints' parade, but will stay in Louisiana for the All-Star break after Wednesday's game.

Davis seemed a bit subdued talking to the media about the Saints' win, but noted he "got it all out last night" after watching the game at Ray Allen's house with teammates and friends.

"I'll be down there [Tuesday], celebrate a little more," said Davis. "I'll stay there over the break and celebrate even more."

Davis stressed what the win meant for the state of Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"The Saints did a great job of getting the job done," said Davis. "Being from there, being a fan, and going through all the ups and downs with the Saints, for them to pull it through and win the Super Bowl, it's huge, not only for the team, but the state.

"You really can't [put it in words], you can't express it. You have to be from there, have to have a loved one that's lost something."

Teammate Rajon Rondo plans to join Davis at the parade and joked he might even sneak onto a float for the celebration.

"I'll probably be at the parade myself, I look forward to going down there," said Rondo. "I know a couple guys on the team, we'll see. I can't really say [which float he'll be on] because I don't know if I'm supposed to be on a float. But maybe I'll have a hat on. It may be a Celtics hat, it might be a Saints hat."

Rondo invited to All-Star H-O-R-S-E competition



Rondo has been invited to participate in the H-O-R-S-E competition next week during All-Star weekend in Dallas.

The competition, which will take place on Saturday night before the Slam Dunk and 3-point Shootout, features four players performing trick shots. The 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix was the competition's inaugural event.

Rondo will face off against Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, the defending champion, and Sacramento's Omri Casspi.

"I haven't practiced yet, [but it's] probably a lifelong practice," said Rondo. "I shoot a lot of H-O-R-S-E shots before games. I used to my first couple years, shoot a lot of crazy shots. I'm more focused now."

Asked if he had any tricks up his sleeves, Rondo smiled and said, "I've got a couple shots nobody can hit. It's just a matter of if I can hit them."

Trade rumors continue to swirl around Allen

CBS Sports published a report Sunday suggesting the Celtics and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge were actively shopping Ray Allen and his expiring contract. From Ken Bergers' blog:

Though team president Danny Ainge has publicly ridiculed the Allen trade reports, several NBA executives told CBSSports.com that the Celtics have been actively trying to parlay Allen's $19.7 million expiring contract into an asset that could keep them in the mix during the upcoming playoffs and also help them for the next several seasons. The most recent inquiry, sources say, involved Sacramento sharpshooter Kevin Martin, who'd be a good fit with Boston's remaining core. Kings officials might be talked out of their reluctance to deal Martin if they could pry a prolific big man out of a third team brought into the discussions or in a separate transaction before the deadline.


In last week's Celtics mailbag, we pointed to one potential Allen-Martin swap, but also expressed our thoughts that, barring this team hitting rock bottom, a deal involving Allen seems unlikely.