|Posted by shawn cassidy on December 3, 2012 at 11:45 PM|
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers gave members of the 35+ club -- Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry -- an extra day off and a respite from Monday's practice, then tossed his clipboard to veteran assistant Armond Hill to run the skeleton session.
Leandro Barbosa also sat out the brief practice due to illness. With two rookies on assignment with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League and Avery Bradley still on the mend from double shoulder surgery, that left a mere seven available bodies for Hill to work with.
What can you do with seven players?
"You can do a lot with seven guys," said Hill. "We got a lot of 3-on-3, we played a little 1-on-1, some 2-on-2 with the bigs -- but we also broke down some plays, where we were able to get what we were looking for as far as pick-and-roll defense, and offense. We got a lot done."
Coming off a game-heavy November, Rivers elected to give his veterans some additional time off, particularly with the team having three total days off before Wednesday's visit from the Minnesota Timberwolves (coming off a back-to-back, the Celtics took Sunday off as a team).
The veterans are expected back on the floor on Tuesday morning. The younger players didn't mind some extra time in the gym to iron out some wrinkles.
"It's definitely good to have days off," said Courtney Lee. "You get in here and we can work on some things that we lacked in finishing out the game with [on Saturday in Milwaukee]. For today, we let the older guys -- the guys that are 35 and above -- get another day off, so they can rest their bodies. So that's always good when you get those guys to refurbish themselves."
Jeff Green did have some fun when a reporter asked about practicing without the "old" guys.
"Don't say that around them, they'd be mad," joked Green. "Well, we just worked on some defensive schemes that a lot of the bench guys needed to improve on. It's different with them not being there. It's a lot quieter, you've got KG not there. But we just worked on some things, tried to continue on our defense, but we miss them. Those are our leaders. It's weird not having them in the gym with us, and for me, I like everybody to be there. But those guys need their rest and we just had to get better today with the group that we had out on the floor. We'll come back tomorrow with everybody."
Doc will have this month to rest the old guys. He needs to utlized every break he can get. The young guys need work. If KG, and Pierce don't know what's going on than something is wrong. The Celtics youngsters need work. So focus on them in practice.
Rondo returned to the court, but he didn't speak with the media.
Hill said that Rivers alerted his coaching staff on the way back from Milwaukee after Saturday's game about how Monday's practice would operate. "He told us that the coaches had to get together, work on the different drills that we wanted to get work done," said Hill. "Look at the film, look at what we needed work on. And then we came in and met this morning, then brought everything to Doc. And we showed Doc, and he looked at everything, said what we could do and can’t do, and what we needed to work on. It was a process, but it started on the plane ride back."