ISTANBUL After a flight that lasted about 12 hours with many players getting little to no sleep, it would have come as a surprise to no one if Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers gave his players the day off after they landed.
Instead, Rivers put them through about an hour's worth of practice with a simple goal in mind -- to keep them awake.
"That's a rarity in the NBA where you try to make sure they don't go to bed early," Rivers said. "Usually it's the exact opposite. But because of the time change and all that, I thought if we went straight and did nothing they would fall asleep at 6 p.m. and sleep the rest of the night away."
Istanbul is seven hours ahead of Boston, making the time change a pretty significant one.
"It's good for us to get into the gym," said Boston's Paul Pierce. "Just to kind of be on a regular clock schedule, just to have fresh legs for practice tomorrow morning."
Rivers promises that Wednesday's practice will be longer and more challenging, which was another reason why he felt it was important for them to at least get in the gym briefly.
"I don't anticipate it being a great practice, honestly," Rivers said. "That's not going to stop us from going our three hours. We're still going to do it. Hopefully by the next day, they will be a little better."
The time change will impact the entire team, but the C's have several veterans who should be experienced enough to handle it.
"You anticipate them handling it better," Rivers said. "But lack of sleep is lack of sleep."