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Friday, January 3, 2014
Pregame: Weathering the storm

By Brian Robb | Special to

BOSTON -- Flying any place on game day is a rarity for an NBA team.

When Thursday night’s winter storm prevented the Boston Celtics from flying home, the team decided to stay put. The Celtics spent the night in Chicago after their 94-82 loss to the Bulls and flew out of the Windy City this morning. Boston’s team plane arrived in Boston around 1 p.m. this afternoon.

“We didn’t pick the two best cities to fly in and out of during the past 48 hours. Chicago had a ton of snow and then, obviously, here in Boston, but I’m glad we got here safely, first and foremost,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before Friday's tilt with the New Orleans Pelicans.

With just over six hours to spare between the team’s arrival in Boston and tonight’s matchup with the Pelicans at TD Garden, it put the Celtics in a bit of a bind when it came to game preparation. Stevens said that while the team didn’t spend any time prepping for the Pelicans on the plane today, they fit in some extra scouting before the start of Friday's contest.

“We’ll get together and talk a little longer than usual before the game,” Stevens said. “We’ll start meeting 40-42 minutes before the game. Usually we meet with 35 minutes to go. It’s a quick turnaround, it’s a unique deal. Sometimes things happen, and you got to come and play. Guys that have been there and done that, and their ability to quickly process information will be helpful.”

Despite the unfavorable circumstances, Stevens doesn't expect the travel woes to affect Boston’s play tonight.

“No excuses from our standpoint. We have a game to play. Whether we get in at 3 in the morning, or 1 in the afternoon, we have to play,” Stevens said.

Boston’s travel plans don’t get much easier after Friday as the Celtics are slated to head out west for a five-game road trip over three different time zones starting Sunday night in Oklahoma City. The seven-day trip features two back-to-back sets.

A handful of other pregame notes: