Celtics work on timing in abbreviated training camp


Celtics work on timing in abbreviated training camp

WALTHAM -- The no-look pass. The inbounds lob. The quick bucket in transition.

It is said that timing is everything, and in basketball, it can be the difference between the game-winning basket and a missed shot.

With just days before the regular season begins, the Boston Celtics are working on their timing -- even if time isnt on their side in this abbreviated training camp.

Most of the plays, weve got great position players but the timing is so important, Ray Allen said prior to Wednesdays win against the Toronto Raptors. Its executing out of timeouts. Its out-of-bounds plays. Its everything that you have opportunities to put those things in (during a regular training camp). You have preseason games spread throughout a two-week period, and then you have scrimmaging amongst the teams, even times when we have two a days, we just dont have that (time). Nobody has it, so it just requires an intense amount of focus for everybody when theyre out there.

With limited days for practice in a condensed regular season schedule, Allen expects shootarounds to be longer to work on the timing of plays. Wednesday morning was an example of that.

Its always a process, he said. Even this mornings shootaround, were putting in new stuff, and its stuff when Doc (Rivers) calls a play and hell put something new in, I go right to my spot. I know exactly what were running. But the other guys dont know it.

You just fall into that rhythm from playing," he added. "I always say when you play games and then you dont play games, you almost lose a little bit of your timing. Around here I think its easier when you play games, youre working on it as you play games and youre getting that timing in real life, real game situations.

For Rajon Rondo, the teams playmaker, timing is critical to the execution of plays. Even though the Celtics have less time to work on it in training camp, he echoed Allens belief that it will get better as the season goes on.

Timing is very important, Rondo said after practice on Thursday. We prepare for the playoffs each year, execution down the stretch, and timings a big part of it. Guys are going to get into us, defend us, try to throw us off a rhythm, but we still have to find a way to get our timing down and execute. Its okay. Cant give it a number right now but the more games we play, the better our timing will be.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.