Saturday, October 2, 2010
First impressions: Training camp, Day 5
By Chris Forsberg
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Five quick observations after the Boston Celtics wrapped up their fifth and final day of training camp Saturday at the Rodgers Recreation Center on the campus of Salve Regina University:
That's a wrap: The Celtics completed their five-day camp adventure with a two-hour session that was scrimmage heavy, including referees in attendance. Celtics coach Doc Rivers gave the experience a thumbs up, calling it a "really good camp." Rivers added, "It was good to get them in a gym together. I thought everybody came back with a great attitude and great focus. For one week, we actually got a lot of good stuff in."
No double sessions: For the third straight year, Boston stuck with single sessions, only holding a walkthrough on two of the five nights in Newport. That's to be expected with a veteran core, but Rivers put them through plenty of work with extended mid-day sessions. "You get your work in and, if they give you an honest day's work, they can go home." He then joked, "I don't want to see them that much any way."
Robinson, Shaq earn high praise: As further indication that their joking stops when the whistle blows, Rivers singled out both Shaquille O'Neal and Nate Robinson for their strong camps. In regards to the latter, Rivers noted, "We joke about it, but he knows when to be Nate, and he knows when to be a Celtic. That's really important for him and it's important for our team."
Shaq runs with the first team: While Shaq appears indifferent about whether he ultimately starts the season on the bench (he actually seems to be embracing that thought) or whether he gets the starting nod over Jermaine O'Neal, he actually spent most of the final two days with the first unit. "I know he's playing his butt off. The last two days, [Shaq has] been with the first team. Just watching what he's doing, he doesn't care, he just wants to play and help the team. You can see, he really wants to prove he can still play, No. 1. And he just wants to win."
Robinson tutors Bradley: Rookie guard Avery Bradley hasn't been able to get on the floor for high-intensity activities, but he's been able to run skeleton offense with the younger players and get up some light shooting. As Saturday's session completed, both Robinson and Celtics director of player development Tyronn Lue spent time with Bradley as he worked on 3-point shooting (see video below). While Bradley has what Rivers dubbed NBA-ready defense, the key to increased floor time this season might be the development of his range and shooting ability.