Saturday, December 10, 2011
Quick hits from Celtics practice
By Chris Forsberg
Chris Forsberg/ESPN BostonWALTHAM, Mass. -- Quick hits following the media-access period at Boston's practice Saturday afternoon at the Celtics Training Center at HealthPoint:
Jeff Green and Marquis Daniels at Celtics practice on Saturday.
* The waiting game continues: For the second straight day, the Celtics operated with a mere nine bodies. Veteran point guard Keyon Dooling joined the team on the floor for the session, but Paul Pierce engaged in a reduced workload due to a sore heel (Rivers said he's expected back full throttle on Sunday or Monday). Many of the teams new faces remained spectators. That included Jeff Green and rookies JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore. Also in attendance were camp invites Gilbert Brown, Michael Sweetney, and Jamal Sampson. The team hinted that Brandon Bass, acquired from the Magic in Friday's sign-and-trade deal involving Glen Davis, was in the building, but still undergoing a physical and awaiting the league's final approval on the deal.
* O'Neal tackles trade rumors: Despite persistent rumors that the Celtics plan to send him to New Orleans in a sign-and-trade deal that would bring back David West, Jermaine O'Neal met with the media Saturday and acknowledged the whispers. "If this is my last practice, this is my last practice," he said. "If it's not, I'll be here tomorrow." O'Neal suggested his first preference is staying with the Celtics, but said that if the team believes it can upgrade and sends him out, he hopes he ultimately lands with a contender.
* Can't talk about Mr. West: Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who typically meets with the media immediately after the team's session, spoke after his players on Saturday. Asked if he had been off discussing and making trades, Rivers joked, "Absolutely." Asked about a potential deal for West, he kept it light, asking, "Who? I can't talk about anything pertaining to that stuff."
* Dooling talks C's, lockout: Veteran point guard Keyon Dooling, obtained Friday in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, debuted on the practice court Saturday and spent time with the media afterwards. In addition to stressing his desire to help bring a championship to Boston, Dooling also talked a bit about his role as Vice President of the NBA Players' Association and the craziness of the lockout.
* Green will chat Sunday: With his one-year deal still awaiting league approval, Green plans to meet with the media on Sunday. A restricted free agent, it appears Green agreed to Boston's qualifying offer of $5.9 million in order to return and take his chances as a unrestricted free agent this summer.
* KG at the 5?: Rivers said he would have no trouble playing Kevin Garnett at the center position this season. Asked if Boston still needed another pure center on the roster, Rivers hinted he'd be OK even if they didn't, believing the amount of size the team could boast overall will make that less of a concern.
* Loose balls: Players drawing big media crowds including Dooling, O'Neal, and Kevin Garnett... Referees were on hand to officiate practice, but with only nine players, they likely didn't get much work.