Last year, Doc Rivers preached about his Boston Celtics being in bad shape and they started 15-17.
Yesterday, Rivers again discussed his team’s need for better conditioning, but the hope is that the Celtics will still be considerably better than sub-.500 after 32 games. (Boston Herald)
“We ran them a lot,” he said. “We did a lot of stuff. It was a hard practice, but I thought we needed it off the trip. We took two days off, which we would never do in training camp. And I think we have to get in better shape. So with all those, you have a hard practice.”
“If anything, that’s where I’d say Europe probably hurt, because they didn’t get enough action or enough practice time,” Rivers said. “Here after practice, you can have another practice. You can come back tonight with just them. You can’t do that over there.
“I don’t know if you learn much yet, You learn little things about individuals, and you’re still just looking for different combinations, which we’ll do throughout training camp. They’re competitive, which you don’t know until they all get together. You can see that. You know, I think we have a chance to be a really good team.”
Obviously, running a suicide is one of the worst things ever conjured by mankind. On the day I quit basketball during my junior year of college, I cried like a six-year old boy whose full collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys had just been run over by an 18-wheeler. Competitive basketball for me was finished. But the tears stopped flowing as soon as I thought to myself, “I’ll never have to run a suicide or 17 ever again!!” And if you don’t know what 17s are, consider yourself lucky.
Despite my hatred of sprints, the good thing about a full training camp (besides giving newcomers/rookies/Jeff Green a chance to learn all the schemes) is that it allows more time for conditioning. Even players who arrived slightly misshapen have time to round themselves back into shape. Rookies who didn’t understand the level of conditioning they would need have time to catch up. Veterans who let themselves go a little bit have time to shed any excess weight.
Conditioning might not be perfect yet. But by the time opening night arrives in 19 days (!), the Celtics should be fine.