Monday, October 14, 2013
Practice: C's revel in Sox, Pats
By Chris Forsberg
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens admitted he fell asleep before the Red Sox rallied for Sunday's thrilling Game 2 walk-off win over the Detroit Tigers. He didn't feel quite as bad as Gerald Wallace, who left Gillette Stadium early before Tom Brady's last-second touchdown pass lifted the New England Patriots over the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints.
Welcome to Boston, guys.
Celtics via InstagramGerald Wallace meets Tom Brady Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
"That was great, wasn’t it?" said Stevens. "I have to admit, I fell asleep at the end of the Red Sox game. I’m sad to say that, but I woke up as they were celebrating. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I’m looking forward to watching the YouTube of it. And I saw [Patriots' game-winning] drive. I saw Brady was operating like a surgeon on that last drive, that was really something."
Truth be told, Indianapolis-native Stevens is a Colts fan (and, for the past year-plus, also a Broncos supporter if want to connect the dots). And despite all those Brady-Peyton Manning battles last decade (many of which came as New England hoisted three Lombardi trophies), Stevens admits he has a healthy respect for what the rival Patriots have accomplished.
And, hey, he named his son, Brady.
Wallace, who grew up in Alabama where there are no professional sports teams, had noted upon his arrival in Boston that he's a diehard Red Sox and Patriots fans because he loves David Ortiz and Tom Brady. After getting a chance to meet Ortiz last week during a visit to Fenway Park, Wallace went on the field at Gillette Stadium before Sunday's game and got a chance to shake Brady's hand.
But he was left kicking himself for trying to beat traffic when Brady was intercepted with 2:16 to play and the Patriots trailing 27-23. Brady engineered an 8-play, 70-yard scoring drive culminating with a 17-yard touchdown pass to rookie Kenbrell Thompkins in the back corner of the end zone with five seconds to play for a 30-27 victory.
"I was pissed because, when Brady threw the interception, I left Gillette Stadium... I missed the game-winning touchdown pass," Wallace sheepishly admitted. "Then when [the Red Sox] gave up the two home runs in the sixth inning, I cut the TV off and started playing xBox. Something just told me, I just had that feeling in my body to turn the TV back on. I turned it on, bases loaded and Papi was coming up."
It was amazing considering how I had just been cussing and arguing with the TV over the sixth inning... I called it though. I felt like Papi was going to do it.
-- Celtics Gerald Wallace on David Ortiz's grand slam sparking the Red Sox comeback on Sunday night
With the Red Sox trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Ortiz hit a two-out grand slam to tie the game. Boston won it in the bottom of the ninth to even the American League Championship Series at one game apiece as the series shifts to Detroit.
"It was amazing considering how I had just been cussing and arguing with the TV over the sixth inning," joked Wallace. "To see [the Sox] come through -- I called it though. I felt like Papi was going to do it."
Reporters gave Wallace a good-natured ribbing for his early departure from Foxborough. But Sunday only strengthened his affection for Boston sports and getting to meet Brady was a big deal for him.
"That’s like my childhood dream to meet him," said Wallace. "It was Michael Jordan, then [Brady]. I met Michael, played for Michael [with the Charlotte Bobcats]. I met Brady, I didn’t meet him the way I wanted to meet him -- I actually wanted to talk to him, but I understand it’s a game, a big game for them, and he’s preparing for the game and I didn’t want to break his process. I just got a quick handshake as he was walking to the locker room."
And now Wallace knows never to cut out early on his favorite teams.
Read on for a handful of quick hits from Monday's practice:
* FILM REVIEW: The Celtics took Sunday off after completing a back-to-back with a win over the star-less Knicks on Saturday in New Hampshire. What did Stevens take from film review? "I thought we played at a better rate for 48 minutes than we probably have; our lineups complemented each other a little bit better. We didn’t pass up as many shots. Sometimes, when you’re trying to be unselfish, you’re passing up maybe the second or third option on the play. But we got a lot to work on. You can look at it and say, you lose on Friday and woe is us; then we win on Saturday, and everything is gravy. The bottom line is we gotta get better today."
* WHAT'S AHEAD: Boston departed for Brooklyn after Monday's morning practice and will play a road back-to-back against the Nets and Raptors the next two days. What does Stevens want to accomplish this week? "We’re starting to settle a little bit from a lineup standpoint, at least for now. I don’t know exactly how we’ll start [vs. Brooklyn], but it’ll probably be pretty similar to the other day. We’ll probably limit some minutes and we may not play everybody on the second of the back-to-back, like we did Saturday. But for the most part, we’re going to keep playing and keep growing. We gotta play and get better, more so than necessarily managing everything."
* BOGANS REEVALUATED, OUT INDEFINITELY: Guard Keith Bogans was reevaluated Monday confirming he has a right thumb sprain suffered in Friday's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Team doctors will monitor Bogans moving forward, but he is listed out indefinitely. Stevens said Saturday in New Hampshire that he expected Bogans would miss a "couple weeks" which would keep him out for the remainder of the Boston's exhibition slate.
* GREEN ADDRESSES PLAY: We already detailed Jeff Green's preseason struggles and he was asked Monday about what he can accomplish these next two games. "I’m just looking to go out there and try to get my game back," he said. And how does Green get his game back? "I just haven’t made shots. I think that’s what it all boils down to. My shots haven’t fallen yet. So hopefully they will soon." As we noted Sunday, the Celtics could use a more aggressive Green in order to restore his game to the level it was at by the end of last season.