Wallace brings veteran presence to Celtics

Wallace brings veteran presence to Celtics
October 5, 2013, 7:45 pm
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WALTHAM -- Gerald Wallace's whereabouts were a mystery over the offseason. Now in training camp, his commitment is unquestionable.

Wallace was the last Celtic to arrive in the Boston area, a fact head coach Brad Stevens said has no impact on his performance.

"I really like him," Stevens said following Saturday's practice. "He's vocal in the huddle, he clearly is one of the elder statesmen of the team, he has a good way about him because people really respect him for a couple of reasons. Number one, he's been a good player in this league. Number two, he plays hard and he practices hard. He didn't get here until a little bit later than some guys, but it wasn't because he wasn't keeping himself in good condition. He was ready to go when he stepped on that practice court on Tuesday morning. He elevates the competitiveness in any group he's with."

So what does Wallace have to say about training camp and his new team? He addressed a wide range of basketball topics after his fourth day of practice.

On learning about new teammates: "I think one of the biggest things we're trying to cut down on is turnovers. But this first week is kind of hard because for myself, coming off the screen and rolls, as soon as the coach draws up the play I have up to the bigs like, 'Listen, are you popping or are you rolling? What do you like to do?' So it's an adjustment, it's something we've got to get used to, but it's something we have to do because I've never played with these guys, they've never played with me. We've got to get accustomed to playing with each other and knowing what we like to do. … I think all the big guys on this team like to pop. Every last one of them pops. Unless the play is just designed for them to roll, they're going to pop."

On scrimmages vs. drills: "For me, 13 years, I'd rather do the scrimmage than all the drills. … I think my body works a little bit better when it's going than doing drills when you're moving and stopping, moving and stopping."

On playing with Jeff Green: "I've known Jeff since he came into the league so I've had a pretty good relationship with him. He's one of the few guys on the team I've known and have already been around for a while. … Right now we're working against each other so I'm trying to help him with his defense. … I learn a lot of things from Jeff. His athleticism is obviously way higher than mine right now. Just playing with him, learning the way he plays the game, the business he takes toward the game are some of the things I like about him."

On knowing roles: "It's hard because I'm a big fan of knowing your role when you come out of training camp. It makes the season a lot easier, I think it makes coaching a lot easier, it makes playing a lot easier. When you know you're role, you know what's expected of you and then you're accountable for those actions. I think it makes it a lot easier. We've still got a couple days, couple preseason games coming up and then we can go from there."

Wallace and the Celtics will get their first game experience together on Monday when the C's take on the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden.