Celtics. Practice. Two words we've rarely seen linked together


Celtics. Practice. Two words we've rarely seen linked together

WALTHAM, Mass. – It would not have come as a shock if some of the Boston Celtics had to turn to their GPS device and punch in the practice facility’s address prior to today’s practice.

Boston was back on the practice floor Wednesday with more than a month having passed between today’s practice and the Celtics' last one here.

“Rare. It’s nice to be back out here,” said head coach Brad Stevens whose team hosts the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night. “You’re balancing, you know, the opportunity to practice with what’s coming ahead. And also, the schedule that we’ve just been through. 

Stevens added, “I thought our attention was really good. I thought our purpose was good. I thought we could learn a lot for the Detroit film, so that was good. It was a positive day hopefully we can build on and move forward.”


His players were also pleased with getting back in the gym for practice.

“I can’t remember the last time we practiced,” said Jaylen Brown. “So anytime we get in here, we have to cherish it, take advantage of it and try to make the most of all our practice time.”

And while Boston’s record may make one wonder just how much practice time they need, Stevens was consistent throughout the team’s 16-game winning streak that they were a work in progress and while piling up the victories, there were areas of play that he recognized could come back and hurt them at some point down the road.

Looking back on the film study from the 118-108 loss to Detroit on Monday, Stevens said there were plenty of lessons to have learned from the loss.

“That was a good team we were playing against, playing really good basketball,” Stevens said. “They were really purposeful on both ends. I actually thought we did a lot of good things. Even in watching it again, it was more a credit to Detroit than we didn’t play to the level or whatever the case may be.”

And while practices are often filled with lots of teaching, Kyrie Irving sees an even bigger benefit.

“Just quality time being with one another,” said Irving who moments earlier, was playing 1-on-1 against Jaylen Brown. “Rather than just showing up to the game. It’s time to get back, set in what your routine is as far as getting up extra shots. But the most important thing for me is dialing back in with the coaching staff. Paying attention to the minute details that we need going forward.”

When the Celtics look back on losses to Miami and Detroit, both were games where Boston’s ability to not take care of the little things such as getting to loose balls or how to quickly recognize certain actions being run, ultimately proved to be costly.

“This is our first season, and we’ve already been through a lot as a group,” Horford said. “Everything is a learning experience. Travel, on the road, getting in at 3 in the morning, make sure you try to go to bed as quick as you can, get your rest. It’s a learning curve.”

And many of those lessons begin with practice.


Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had another strong performance for the Boston Celtics, doing so against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George, a player Tatum has acknowledged on more than one occasion he has looked up to. 

That admiration didn’t get in the way of Tatum delivering a big-time performance in helping Boston rally from six points down with 12.7 seconds to play, to knock off the Thunder 100-99.

Tatum tallied a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. And doing so at 20 years and 17 days old, Tatum became the youngest player in franchise history to tally at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.

“It feels good,” Tatum said when asked about his first 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound game in the NBA. “But honestly, I’m just glad we won. That was a big win against a great team and it was fun playing out there today.”

Impacting the game on multiple levels offensively along with being a defensive and rebounding force are qualities often associated with George who became familiar with Tatum prior to last June’s NBA draft which is when the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick. 

“I reached out to him before he was coming into this draft and I got to talk to him,” said George, who had 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Celtics. “It’s an honor when you see young talent. I‘ve been inspired by many in this league so it’s great to inspire the younger generation in this league.”

And while Tatum may be young, he continues to prove himself up for whatever challenges await him. 

“We are going to keep throwing to the wolves and keep going to him in those moments,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston closed out the game with an 8-1 spurt in the final 24.7 seconds, with Tatum either scoring or assisting on five of those points which includes assistant on Marcus Morris’ game-winner.

Tatum’s composure down the stretch comes from being influenced by many, including George who considers it “an honor” that Tatum holds him in high regard. 

“At the end of the day, us veteran guys want the younger guys to take the game further and advance much farther than what I was,” George said. “There’s going to be kids looking up to Jayson (Tatum) that are probably already looking up to Jayson (Tatum).”


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

1:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek to discuss Kyrie Irving getting a second opinion on his injured knee and what the Kyrie’s options are for the remainder of the season.

5:53 - Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine break down the Celtics stunning last second comeback win over the Thunder with multiple key players sitting out.

10:27 - Tom Curran and Jerod Mayo stop by Early Edition to play a game of Fill in the Blank that involves Gronkowski’s contract and the Patriots best offseason acquisition.