Boston Celtics: Practice2010
The rundown (a quick look at Tuesday's practice headlines)
* D-West returns to practice; JO gets up shots
* Shaq's FTs help first unit in scrimmage
* Doc's plans for Wednesday: practice and game
* Loose balls: Bradley still sidelined; Rookies ready?
WEST RETURNS; JO GETS UP SHOTS
After sitting out Monday's session with what he dubbed "mild" back spasms, Delonte West returned to the practice court Tuesday afternoon and is expected to play Wednesday night when the Celtics kick off their exhibition slate against the Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester, N.H.
"My back feels great," West said after practice. "[Celtics trainer] Ed Lacerte and [team masseuse] Vlad [Shulman] did a great job of working those things out of there. No complaints here."
While admitting that a lack of fluids or proper stretching might have contributed to the spasms, West refused to blame his tireless work ethic this preseason, in which he's been the last person out of the gym every day but Monday when he was plagued by the spasms.
"You can never work too hard," West said with a smile.
Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal missed his third straight session due to a sore left hamstring, but watched portions of practice from the sideline, then came onto the court -- a couple bandages near the injury -- and put up shots after the session.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he'll exercise caution with anyone that develops an injury during the preseason.
"[Delonte will] play [Wednesday]," said Rivers. "He went through the whole practice. Now, again, [Wednesday] morning, he may wake up and the back could tighten up. It's one of those things where, if a guy has anything [ailing him], then they're not playing. It's not worth it right now."
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Five quick observations after the Boston Celtics practiced Monday afternoon at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint:
- Hamstring KO's JO: Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal sat out both Saturday's practice in Newport and Monday's session in Waltham with a tight left hamstring. He said he tweaked it at the end of practice Friday after collecting a rebound over Shaquille O'Neal. "I boxed him out, got the rebound, and I went to turn and run up the court, that's when I felt a little burning sensation. If it was serious, I wouldn't be able to walk around and do the stuff that I'm doing. We're just making sure that I'm ready on Oct. 26." Celtics coach Doc Rivers indicated he'll likely sit Jermaine O'Neal all week (which would mean both exhibition games) to allow ample time for recovery, but O'Neal called the injury, "minor," and preferred to call his absence, "day-to-day."
- Spasms sideline D-West, too: Celtics guard Delonte West did not participate in Monday's session due to back spasms. West, who was at the gym during the practice session, is not expected to be out long. "Delonte will be back soon," said Rivers. "Maybe tomorrow or maybe a couple more days."
- Injuries mean extra work for Wafer, Erden: The silver lining to Boston's injured players is that Semih Erden got additional time with the second unit, while Von Wafer bumped up to run with the reserves, as well. That's a spot Wafer is likely to occupy at season's start with West suspended for the first 10 games of the season. Wafer did admit his battle for that final spot on the Celtics' roster is a "dogfight," but said he's working hard to get his legs under him and find that shooting touch the team brought him in to provide.
- Youngsters put in extra work: As the practice court cleared Monday, the youngest players were the ones still shooting. Erden put in extended time going 1-on-1 with new big man coach Roy Rogers; Mario West and Stephane Lasme worked together on shooting drills; Von Wafer put up 3-pointers at one end of the court, while Avery Bradley did the same at the other.
- Turkey talk: After being waived by the Celtics on Saturday, Tony Gaffney inked a contract with Turk Telekom of the Turkish Basketball League. It's the same league that Celtics rookie Semih Erden played for in recent years (he led Fenerbahce Ulker to the league title). Telekom went 18-12 last season, finishing fifth overall before being bounced in the first round of the postseason. Games start in two weeks for Telekom.
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