Yesterday, Michael Finley went through what he deemed his first real practice as a Celtic. So what was the biggest difference between a Celtics practice and a Spurs practice? (CSNNE)
“Lot of talking. Trash talking, I guess,” Finley continued. “A lot more aggressiveness, a lot more of letting the players just go out and play. There was also a lot less teaching than we had at San Antonio, but each team different, each approach is different, and I think the approach Doc takes with this team is suited for this team.”
I’m not too surprised to hear the Spurs don’t do much yapping at each other during practice. Tim Duncan is about as emotional on a basketball court as my right sock, and I wouldn’t consider guys like Tony Parker, Antonio McDyess or Rojer Mason, Jr. fiery.
Richard Jefferson can’t talk crap because he’s washed up, and Manu Ginobili can’t because all an opponent would need to say in response would be, “Nice bald spot, Manu.” George Hill can’t talk junk because he took naked pictures of himself that got circulated on the internet, and Keith Bogans can’t because he’s horrendous.
Coming from those bland, boring Spurs, Finley is clearly in a new element with notorious woofers like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rasheed Wallace.
Despite the new, different atmosphere, Doc Rivers says Finley has adjusted just fine.
“So far, [Finley's] as good as I’ve ever had as far as picking things up,” Rivers said. “But not only just picking things up, today we ran a play where you’re supposed to look for a big to slip, and guys who have been here haven’t thrown that pass yet, and the first time [Finley] ran it, Shelden got a lay up. I don’t know what it is but his timing is really good.”
High praise from the Doctor.
Though Finley called himself his own worst critic, even he had to admit the transition from San Antonio has gone better than he expected. (Boston Herald)
“It’s been a smoother transition than what I thought,” Finley said. “I thought it would be a little bit tough coming from a different team, a different organization, switching conferences – all those things going against me. But these guys have welcomed me with open arms, which makes my transition a lot easier and hopefully I can fit in quickly.”
Finley is a pro’s pro, and I don’t think it should come as any shock that he’s been quick to adapt to the Celtics’ schemes.
His shooting, though, has come as a surprise. After going more than a month without a bucket prior to signing with the Celtics, Finley has hit 10 of his first 14 shots with Boston.