Monday, April 18, 2011
Practice: Film session for C's
By Chris Forsberg
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Celtics convened for a light practice Monday afternoon at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint. Coach Doc Rivers said his troops would simply watch film of Sunday's win, then get on the court briefly to walk through some areas of focus in advance of Tuesday's Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Knicks.
Rivers admitted there was plenty to work on, particularly after Boston sleepwalked through the first half, digging a 12-point halftime hole before rallying with more inspired player after the intermission. Here are some of the highlights from Boston's pre-practice availability:
SHAQWATCH: O'NEAL OUT FOR GAME 2 VS. KNICKS
As expected, Rivers ruled out injured center Shaquille O'Neal (right Achilles/calf) from Game 2 against the Knicks.
"[Team physician] Dr. [Brian] McKeon came to me about an hour [before practice] and said, 'We're not even going to put him on the floor; We're not even going to try,'" said Rivers.
The team tried to put O'Neal through a simulated pregame workout Saturday, but he experienced immediate soreness before being rule out for Game 1. While there's no exact timeline for O'Neal's return, Rivers wouldn't go so far as to rule him out for the duration of the first-round series.
"The only assumption I'm going on is the one that he's not playing in Game 2," said Rivers. "He's got a different brace now and we've got two [offdays] after [Game 2] that he can practice, hopefully. If he doesn't practice, at least if he could do something on the floor with us, then we can make that evaluation."
THE OTHER O'NEAL DOING FINE AFTER A BIG NIGHT
Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal, occupying that starting role with Shaq sidelined indefinitely, said he felt good the morning after a monster playoff performance. Jermaine O'Neal made all six shots he took while chipping in 12 points, four rebounds and four blocked shots, over 22:34. He also drew two charges and almost single-handedly turned the game around for Boston in the second half.
"I'm not concerned about my health," said Jermaine O'Neal. "I've been around too long to worry about something that's been an afterthought. You deal with situations when they come up and nothing's certain. I feel good, I felt good coming here, getting in early, getting in the weight room to do a leg workout, so I'm just focused on Game 2 now."
After appearing in a mere 24 games this season, sitting out 58 games due to left knee soreness that eventually required surgery, Jermaine O'Neal said he's not even thinking about his health any more.
"You guys are worrying about it more than I am," he said. "You guys talk about it more than I even think about it. It's just about maintaining, doing the things you're supposed to do -- the therapy, not only at the gym but at home. Last night, getting home and doing the ice, doing the boot, compression. Just making sure that you're able to get up and do the same things again the next day."
--C'S DON'T EXPECT DROP OFF FROM KNICKS WITHOUT BILLUPS--
The Celtics weren't celebrating the idea that Knicks guard Chauncey Billups (left knee strain) might be sidelined for Game 2 of the series.
"It doesn't really help -- I thought [Toney] Douglas was the guy that made the big three [in the final minute Sunday]," said Rivers. "I also know that when [the Knicks] went on their winning streak late in the year, Chauncey was out and Douglas was in. I don't know if it helps or not, the bottom line is we're going to be worried about [Celtics point guard Rajon] Rondo and all the guys on our team, not whose playing for them."
--PIERCE: NOTHING EASY IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS--
Celtics captain Paul Pierce wasn't surprised to see teams like the Lakers and Spurs get upset in the first game of the opening round of the postseason.
"Teams are just ready to play," said Pierce. "We've had a tough time every first round. When have we not had a tough time? That's nothing new for us, from Atlanta [in 2008] to the next year [with] Chicago, to ... [Miami in 2010]. [The Heat were] probably the easiest time, but in the first round teams are psyched to be in the playoffs.
"I remember being an underdog playing the Sixers my first year in the playoffs. I mean, we put them out. They were a higher seed, it's because we were excited to be in the playoffs, it was our first time, national recognition. When you talk about teams like Indiana -- national recognition, first time in the playoffs in some years -- Memphis, same situation. These guys are excited to be on TV, excited to be in the playoffs, and they're going to bring that energy."
The Knicks are competing in their first postseason in seven years, but did add a ton of playoff experience recently by bringing together Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Billups over the past 10 months.