WALTHAM Leandro Barbosa is getting a crash course in what it takes to play for the Boston Celtics.
With the team set to start their season in six days, Barbosa worked with Celtics staff on Monday and Tuesday two days that Rivers gave off for the rest of his team.
On Wednesday, Barbosa took part in his first real practice with the team.
"It was a good practice," Barbosa said. "I have to get to know the plays from the defensive standpoint and all the things that they've been doing at training camp when I wasn't here. I think it was OK. The coaches have been giving me a lot of attention at the beginning, but also the players have been helping too."
C's coach Doc Rivers, who said Barbosa could play either guard position, was happy with what he saw.
"He was terrific. He's been here for three, four days so the last two days we ran him through all the stuff so he had a concept of what we were running, Rivers said. "He's played against us for so long, so that helped as well. But he had a great practice."
Barbosa admitted that he hadn't been playing much basketball in Brazil, but conditioning seemed fine. That said, the team didn't do any full-court action today. Tomorrow they look to go up and down, and that could determine just where he's at in his conditioning.
Going into his 10th year in the NBA, he's been on some deep teams with the Phoenix Suns, and also won a Sixth Man of the Year Award while there. But Barbosa has averaged 24.6 minutes per game in his career. With Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and eventually Avery Bradley, those minutes will undoubtedly shrink by a lot. That seems fine by Barbosa.
"Yes, I'm OK for whatever," he said. "Whatever minutes I have on the court I'm going to try to do my best and help my teammates. But if I don't come to the court it's fine for me too as long as the team is successful."
Rajon Rondo sees one thing right away that Barbosa can bring with him on the court.
"Speed," said Rondo.
Speed, OK. But they already have speed . . .
"We don't need more but it's nice to have more. More is better," Rondo said.
Rondo also noted that Barbosa was "very vocal" on the court as the point guard today.
"He moved Jet (Jason Terry) to the side and I think they both liked that situation because Jet is more of a scoring point guard. And Barbosa set a lot of those guys up today in practice."
So while Rivers looks to play Barbosa at both guard positions, it looks like he'll fit in nicely at the point.