Friday, January 31, 2014
Practice: Humphries gets maintenance day
By Chris Forsberg
Boston Celtics forward Kris Humphries received a maintenance day Friday, but coach Brad Stevens said he'll be available for Sunday's visit from the Orlando Magic.
"We give him an extra day off every now and again, just to heal some nagging little things, but it’s nothing big," said Stevens. "He’s got a little bit of a knee [ailment] that we just want to give him an extra day off."
Gerald Wallace was excused from the team due to a death in his family. Stevens said he could be back in time for Sunday's matinee, but said it would be a game-time decision. Wallace has been filling in as a starter, but Boston is hoping to get Avery Bradley back on Sunday after a five-game absence.
Following Friday's practice, the Celtics assigned center Vitor Faverani and guard Vander Blue to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. With a rare three-day break in the schedule, the Celtics are sending a couple young reserves north for game reps.
Faverani did a similar shuttle last week and Stevens noted the team will try to get younger players more game action in Maine moving forward.
"We’ll be utilizing [the D-League] more and more if we feel like guys are not going to play as many minutes, or haven’t played as many minutes," said Stevens. "Just to keep them fresh in the game, and, Vitor went last week, and he can better say it than I, but he had a blast. He really approached it well, he had a great attitude about it, he went after it, and played well. Hopefully that continues to be the case. I think he’d be looking forward to going back."
Blue is in the final day of a 10-day contract. He's appeared in three games with the Celtics for a total of only 15 minutes since being signed, but Stevens has raved about him in practice.
"Don’t know exactly [whether Blue will be signed to another 10-day deal], but he was fantastic in practice today," said Stevens. "I give him a lot of credit. Even when he didn’t play, his attitude was great. He worked. In a lot of cases, he was a dominant player today in practice. He’s maximized [his time in Boston considering] the opportunities that he was given in the game."
The Celtics closed out the month of January with a lengthy practice given the rare three-day break between game action. Boston went 2-15 in the first month of the new calendar year, the most losses the team has ever endured in one calendar month (the team went 2-14 in both March 1997 and January 2007; the worst month ever was 1-10 in March 1950).
"As far as the last month goes, it’s in the books, so you move forward and try to get better," said Stevens. "We have 11 games this month and, starting Sunday, you hope that, as we continue to get healthy, that we can play our best. I do think, as we look back on it, obviously we’ve had a lot of change in personnel this month, and so hopefully we can continue to be more connected as we spend more time together."
Brian Robb, an ESPN Boston correspondent, contributed to this report from Waltham.