Rigorous early-season schedule tests C's

Rigorous early-season schedule tests C's
November 8, 2013, 8:00 am
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WALTHAM, Mass. — By the time the calendar flips to December, the Celtics will be through almost one-fourth of their regular-season schedule.

It is the kind of energy-draining slate of games that forces the players to stick to their longstanding routines to stay in tip-top shape, more than ever.

Forward Jeff Green said ice baths along with "eating good and sleeping good" are essential to him staying as close to the top of his game as possible.

"I don't think I've ever been part of anything like this," said Green, referring to the Celtics schedule which includes 18 games in the month of November. "All I can do is play, so I think I'll be ready."

Ditto for Avery Bradley, who seems to embrace the added degree of difficulty that such a daunting early season schedule presents.

"It's all mental to me," said Bradley. "That's how I like it anyway. That's the kind of player I am. That's the kind of team I want us to be, a grind team."

Courtney Lee said he began conditioning himself for extended stretches of games back when he was at Western Kentucky.

The sixth-year guard/forward recalls four-hour practices in the middle of the college basketball season that left him little choice but to stay in great shape.

"We practiced hard," Lee recalled. "And I played a lot of minutes so I had to take care of my body."

Although Keith Bogans doesn't see nearly as much time as some of his more youthful teammates, it has nothing to do with the 33-year-old's conditioning.

"I'm learning the older I get, the better shape I have to be in," Bogans told CSNNE.com. "When I was young, I didn't have to be in great shape. I was just playing off of natural talent. But you get older, you lose a step. So now my key is being in better shape than these young guys."

Part of that involves Bogans doing Bikram Yoga at least twice a week.

"I started doing that last year," Bogans said. "[Former Brooklyn Nets teammate] Joe Johnson got me doing it, yoga last year. I liked it. It keeps my body loose."

Always important, staying as fresh as possible takes on even greater significance in this current stretch which finds the Celtics in the middle of five games in seven nights.

"It's a long grind when you got this many games in one month," Green said. "And it can get a little stressful. But as long as we maintain our focus and just try to take care of our bodies, we'll be alright."