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.