Thursday, November 7, 2013
Practice: C's frisky after first win
By Chris Forsberg
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics seemed extra frisky after Thursday's practice session. Avery Bradley hounded Jeff Green to playfully whack him with a towel, Rajon Rondo stood on some tall mats on the sideline while heaving some extra-deep corner 3-pointers, and everyone just appeared a little bit looser after Wednesday's first win of the season.
"I don't know, it must have something to do with the result," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who jumped into some of the team's shooting drills near the end of a brief hourlong session. "[The players] were appropriately loose during practice. We had a good walkthrough/jog-through today to get ready for two more road games."
As promised, Stevens had put his first NBA victory behind him (he previously pledged to savor it for a whopping 12 minutes) and heaped praise on Friday's opponent, the Orlando Magic. Noted Stevens, "Orlando, up to this point, is the best that we’ve seen. At least the most cohesive that we’ve seen."
After watching tape of his own team, Stevens lamented the continued absence of a 48-minute effort, but liked the poise his team showed late in the game as Utah made a fourth-quarter run. Said Stevens, "We made some really competitive plays at the end of the game to kind of secure it, which was good."
A handful of notes from the afternoon session at HealthPoint:
* WALLACE IS STEVENS' TYPE OF GUY: One day after 13th-year veteran Gerald Wallace swallowed a bit of his pride and embraced what he's playfully dubbed a "seventh-man" role, Stevens praised Wallace's team-first attitude. "I’ve really enjoyed coaching Gerald," said Stevens. "And I think one of the things that I enjoy about him is he’s very authentic, he’s very frank, he’s very easy to coach. He plays his heart out. My wife [Tracy] will tell you, when I first met Gerald, I said from Day 1, that’s my type of guy in a lot of ways. First and foremost, I appreciate his blue-collar approach on the basketball court... [and] the contagious effort with which he plays. I thought it changed the game last night."
* CRAWFORD A SWAGGY SIDEKICK: The regular-season debut of the Bradley/Jordan Crawford starting backcourt didn't go well out of the gates (Utah built a 13-point lead in the first quarter before Boston responded). It finished strong, however, and Bradley raved about having Crawford to share ball-handling duties. "Not to take away from anybody else that might start with me, to have Jordan come out there, he kinda has a swagger to his game," said Bradley. "He feels like he’s better than everybody and, to have someone that brings that energy every single night, it makes you feel a lot more comfortable out there. I love when he starts and having somebody beside me that’s going to go to war with me every single game."
* RONDO WATCH: After Danny Ainge said on the radio Thursday that Rondo had been engaging in a little bit of contact activity in 1-on-1 situations, Stevens noted that there's been no change to Rondo's practice activities from a team standpoint. Rondo is still awaiting clearance from operating surgeon Dr. James Andrews before being allowed to return to full-squad, full-contact workouts.
* WANNA GET AWAY? The Celtics close out a week that features five games in seven days in five with a Floridian back-to-back with stops in Orlando (Friday) and Miami (Saturday). Asked if he's seeing any early effects from a game- and travel-heavy November, Stevens playfully responded, " I don’t’ think anybody’s upset when you go to Florida. Maybe we’ll see the effects down the road, I don’t see it right now."