C's have good practice after Wallace calls out teammates

C's have good practice after Wallace calls out teammates
October 22, 2013, 3:30 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — Following Boston's 104-89 loss to Minnesota in Montreal on Sunday, Celtics forward Gerald Wallace blasted his team for their lack of overall effort.

"Guys are out there being selfish, and their opponents are playing with effort, giving their all regardless of how the night is going," Wallace said at the time. "(Sunday) we ran into another team that wanted the game more than we did. And they came and played like it. We had some good spurts, but when it came down to it they were determined to win the game and we (weren't)."

In their first practice since Wallace's comments, the Celtics responded to his words with what players and coaches described as one of their best practices of the season.

That effort - there's the 'E' word again - coming on the heels of Wallace's remarks was not seen as a coincidence.

"To have somebody say that, it kind of pushes everybody," said Boston guard Avery Bradley. "That's why we had a great practice today. We all know we can give a little more. To have one of our leaders say that, says a lot about him to call us out, for us to step up, to be better for our teammates."

Wallace addressed the effort issue again on Tuesday.

"We have to understand we have to do things hard for 48 minutes," he said. "We don't have the luxury of being able to take a quarter off, or take five minutes off. We don't have that luxury. We have to continue playing hard, playing together for 48 minutes."

Wallace isn't worried about his teammates figuring out sooner rather than later, the importance of bringing forth great effort consistently.

"At the end of the day," Wallace said, "keep looking up at the scoreboard and we're getting our [butts] kicked every night ... the effort is something that everybody can control, everybody can look at themselves in the mirror and do something about it. It doesn't take talent or skills to bring effort, come out every night and compete and just get the will to win. It's not that hard."

Celtics rookie coach Brad Stevens wasn't surprised to hear of Wallace's comments.

"In my short timing knowing him, the one thing I think Gerald is, he's a very frank person," Stevens told CSNNE.com. "What he sees, he's going to say. I respect that. I think everybody else respects that."

And the comments weren't directed at any particular player, but rather the collective efforts - or rather lack of effort - of the Celtics which is surprising to hear considering how close they are to the start of the regular season.

"He's a team guy, but he's also a prideful guy," Stevens said. "That's really good. I'd rather have that type of leadership than not."

And while it's debatable as to whether effort is the kind of thing that can be coached, Stevens said "effort is a non-negotiable."

He added, "You don't play with it, you're going to get beat. If you do play with it, you do have a chance. You add it to technique and you add it to togetherness, you have a real chance."

And while the fact that there are so many new players and a new coaching staff have been reasons for why the Celtics have been such a lackluster bunch in the preseason, Wallace doesn't see that having anything to do with the team's collective effort in games.

"It's a learning curve for all of us," Wallace acknowledged. "But at the same time, you can still put forth the effort. Just because it's a learning experience doesn't give you an excuse to not give good effort."