Celtics aim to balance rest and rhythm during layoff

Celtics aim to balance rest and rhythm during layoff
February 28, 2013, 12:00 am
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BOSTON — Conventional wisdom tells you that if you're an older player, getting a few days off can only do your body good.

But the Boston Celtics are an entirely different animal on so many levels.

Following Monday's 110-107 overtime win at Utah, the Celtics will have just one game over the next seven days which is more rest than they had over the course of the All-Star break.

But the dilemma that this team faced prior to the break - rest versus rhythm - is once again a concern.

Prior to All-Star weekend, Boston had won seven of eight games. When they returned, they dropped the first two.

With even more time off now, there is a legit concern that it will take some time to pick up where they left off.

"When you're playing good basketball, winning basketball, you just want to keep on playing obviously," Celtics guard Jason Terry told CSNNE.com. "But this is a long season, and we're a grind-it-out team. And that takes a lot out of you, so whenever we get an off day here or there, we have to take advantage of that."

The Celtics have won two of their last three games, and hope to continue on their winning ways on Friday against the Golden State Warriors.

Part of that steady play involves developing a consistent third option.

Since Rajon Rondo's season-ending injury, the Celtics have struggled to find that No. 3 option they can turn to consistently.

Jeff Green and Jason Terry are a couple of players Celtics head coach Doc Rivers singled out as possible players to fill that third role offensively.

But he was quick to add that some of the C's more defensive-minded players like Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley could emerge as the No. 3 as well.

"You can have a great impact on a game and do it different than offense," Rivers said. "Avery understands that more than anybody on our team. He knows he can have a defensive impact on a game that's far more important than anybody's points."

Developing a player to fill that role will certainly get a boost in the coming days as Rivers looks to give his veterans - Garnett, Pierce and Terry, specifically - fewer reps in practice to keep them as fresh as possible.

"I'm cool with whatever way Doc Rivers wants to use me," Terry told CSNNE.com. "I'm feeling pretty good, so whatever he asks of me, I'm all in to do that."

The same goes for Garnett who in the past has not been eager to take time off.

"I've always tried to be whatever Doc needed for the team," Garnett said. "I try to give him what he needs from me, the best way I can. Question marks about durablity and extended minutes, when you're in the heat of battle you don't think about a lot of things and what you're actually doing overall as far as your body. He's doing a pretty good job of gauging it with me and talking to me. Rest is not a bad thing for guys who have been in the league for a while."