After playing eight games since the the season kicked off on December 25, the Boston Celtics will have four game-free days before their next contest on Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks.
This time wont be used for rest, though. The Celtics still have work to do.
This season there are six new faces on the bench, six players who went through a shortened training camp with the Celtics. They will use these days to hit the gym and continue the build the units that came together a month ago.
We havent found our identity yet, Keyon Dooling said of the reserves. I think this is a good way for us to get a little bit of a break. It was a bad loss for us tonight at home but it gives us some extra motivation to get in the gym on Sunday. Well be in the gym, well be working and trying to get better. Weve got to embrace where we are. In order to help this team, weve got to come in and do something positive and tonight we werent positive at all.
On Friday night, the Celtics bench combined for just 14 points in a loss to the Indiana Pacers. Brandon Bass, who averaged 14.5 points in his previous two games, led the reserves with five points. Dooling and Bradley tied with four, while Chris Wilcox chipped in a free throw. Marquis Daniels and Greg Stiemsma were both scoreless in around seven minutes each.
Head coach Doc Rivers was not pointing blame at the reserves. With high-scoring players in the starting lineup, it has never been on the shoulders of the bench to carry the offensive slack. He, too, will work on ways to improve the group.
Theres going to be nights like that, he said. I would say this: Brandon was two-for-seven and he missed five great shots. So, thats going to happen. We do have to get more out of our bench. And I told Keyon at halftime because you could see, he actually played pretty well tonight but I told him thats on me. Ive got to find something that works with them that we can give them. Theyre an energy group; theyre not a scoring group. But weve got to come up with something, and so thats not on them.