WALTHAM Even with a full 82-game slate to play with, the Boston Celtics didn't spend a lot of time practicing.
Now with a condensed 66-game schedule plus a pair of preseason games, once again we're talking about practice -- not a game! We're talking about practice!
Unsure of exactly the best way to approach practice with a shortened season, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers did some research on how teams handled the 50-game season of 1999.
"The last time this happened, 50 games, some coaches didn't have a practice at all during the season," said Rivers, who added that he hasn't ruled out having some two-a-day practices in training camp in hopes of speeding up the learning curve of a roster that will be filled with fresh faces. "We'll figure it out."
One of the reasons so many veteran players the past couple of years have been eager to play for Rivers and the Celtics has been Rivers' strong belief in the value of resting his veteran players more so than most coaches.
But the lockout has created a completely different, and far more challenging, set of circumstances for Rivers to work with heading into the season.
Because of that, his approach to practice will likely be one that evolves as the season progresses.
One thing Rivers does know? The Celtics, unlike some teams from the lockout-shortened 1999 season, will not totally blow off practicing during the season.
"I can tell you that will not happen," Rivers said. "At the end of the day, we're just going to have to figure out the rhythm of what works for our team."