Rivers concerned about Celtics' rhythm after blizzard canceled practice

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Rivers concerned about Celtics' rhythm after blizzard canceled practice

BOSTON Doc Rivers' son Jeremiah was in town and had never been in a snow blizzard before, so Doc thought it would be a good idea to give him a taste of what one is like.

"We walked about a half a block," Doc Rivers said, "and he wanted to turn around. That was disappointing."

Just as disappointing was the weather's impact on the Celtics' game plan for tonight's matchup with Denver.

Having played back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday, Rivers had planned on giving his players Friday off and resuming practice on Saturday.

However, weather conditions prevented the team from practicing on Saturday and it has created a sense of uncertainty for Rivers as to how his team will respond.

"We tried everything we could yesterday (to practice), even into the evening," Rivers said. "Our (director of security), Mr. Phil Lynch, thought it would be very dangerous which he was right -- I hate to say that. So I'm very concerned."

Rivers even gave serious thought to having practice this morning, which is unusual to have on game nights that have an earlier start.

"It's just tough with two days off," Rivers said. "And what concerned me more was Denver played last night (at Cleveland). You knew they would come in with rhythm. But it's nothing you could have done about it."

The one change Boston did make was they arrived at the TD Garden earlier than usual for their pre-game walk-thru.

"I don't know what that does, but it makes me feel better," Rivers said.

C's players mull how to utilize platform as athletes for social commentary

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C's players mull how to utilize platform as athletes for social commentary

WALTHAM -- The national anthem protests by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick have had an undeniable ripple effect on professional sports teams across the country. And that includes the Boston Celtics.
 
“We as an organization know what’s going on,” said Marcus Smart. “We read and see and hear about it every day. It’s a sensitive subject for everybody.”
 
While it’s unlikely that Celtics players will do something similar to Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, there’s no question some are figuring out the best way to utilize their platform as athletes to express their views on current social issues.
 
“Us athletes have to take advantage of the stage we’re on,” said Jae Crowder. “Try to make a positive out it. You can’t fix negative problems with negative energy. I don’t want to do anything negative; I want to do something positive, shed light on the situation.”
 
Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and a number of professional athletes have tried to have more attention paid to recent killings of African-Americans by police officers where, based on the video footage, it appears excessive or unnecessary force was used.
 
It is a topic that has brought a wide range of responses from many in the sports world, including the dean of NBA coaches, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.
 
During the Spurs’ media day this week, he was asked about the Kaepernick’s protests.
 
“I absolutely understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and I respect their courage for what they’ve done,” Popovich told reporters. “The question is whether it will do any good or not because it seems that change really seems to happen through political pressure, no matter how you look at it.”
 
As examples of the political pressure he was referring to, Popovich mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ability to galvanize group, as well as the NBA and other organizations pulling their events out of the state of North Carolina because of its legislation as it relates to the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
 
“The important thing that Kaepernick and others have done is keep it in the conversation,” Popovich said.
 
And while there may be differing opinions as to whether Kaepernick or any other athlete should be protesting, the one common thread that seems to bind the Celtics players and the front office is them having the right to speak out not only as professional athletes, but Americans.
 
“The biggest thing is we all really value the freedoms that we have and that we’ve been allotted,” said coach Brad Stevens, who added that he has had individual discussions with players on this subject. “We certainly support an individual’s freedoms. It’s been great to engage in those discussions. It’s been really fun for me how excited our guys are about using their platform.”
 
And that more than anything else is why Crowder feels the Celtics have to have a united front as far as the message they present to the masses.
 
“If we want change we have to do it together,” Crowder said. “I feel like those guys (other athletes) used their platforms well. I think more athletes should do the same. You can’t do it with any hatred; you can’t do it with any negative. You have to do it with positive energy.”