Here are a few things out of the Celtic’s practices this week:
Assistant coach Mike Longabardi has been tasked with focusing solely on the defensive side of the ball. Former assistants that also did this were Tom Thibodeau and Lawrence Frank, both went on to be head coaches elsewhere.
KG said Sullinger is a lot like Perkins was while he was here. He said he’s not the same kind of defender but is completely unselfish, moves the ball, and has a very high basketball IQ. Garnett went on to say that he loves having the rookie as a teammate already.
Their entire practice Tuesday was about defensive strategies. Doc said they went over cutting out the shooters, eliminating baseline drives, and communicating like his old teams were known for.
They are playing the Wizards again tonight at the Garden. I will be rocking the balcony seats so be sure to tune in since the election is over and there’s no other sports to watch.. Go Celts!
As of yesterday before the Celtics 97-96 loss to the Nets (without the Net’s 6 best players), the Ainge and Doc decided to cut ties with training camp guards Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith. Most expected Christmas to make the team, because of his half guaranteed deal worth over $236k. Also, because the Celtics lack a back up point guard. In the rare instance when Rondo does leave the floor, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and Avery Bradley (when healthy) can all handle the ball, but are not natural point guards.
It is possible that the C’s will look for a veteran ball handler with playoff experience to help the young guys and handle the ball for a few minutes a game, but if not, Rivers says they will be fine. Rivers joked in an interview with ESPN:
“Maybe the Heat will cut LeBron [James] or whoever,” he said. “We’re always looking. Every team is always looking. If nothing comes, does that bother us? No.”
The Celtics don’t have the money to spend on a big name, so we would need to find someone who wants to play for a contender and who can buy into the system that Doc Rivers has put in place that has attracted so many veterans over the years.