NEWPORT, R.I. – Phase One of the Boston Celtics’ pursuit of Banner 18 is in the books. The C’s wrapped up Training Camp Saturday afternoon in Newport and will now move on to Phase Two – preseason games and practices.
Although the camp was five days long, in a secluded city 75 miles away from their family and friends, many of the players and coaches were overheard saying that camp had flown and that they couldn’t believe it was already over. That’s never a bad thing, because time flies when you’re having fun, right?
It’s easy to have fun when you’ve got a team like the Celtics, whose core has now been through four training camps together and whose newcomers are nearly all veterans themselves. These guys know the ropes.
Time will also fly by when every player gets along off the court, and every player works his butt off on the court. Those are the characteristics this 2010-11 Celtics team has shown over its first five days together.
Doc Rivers is usually candid when it comes to discussing his happiness, or unhappiness, with practices, and he was genuinely pleased this afternoon when discussing his view of this year’s Training Camp.
“It was a good camp. It was a really good camp, I thought,” Rivers said. “The guys played hard. I thought today we played hard and smart, which is a little better for the coaches. But overall, I thought everybody – there was no bad performances. I thought it was a really good camp.”
Just a minute later, he couldn’t resist dropping even more positive remarks about the camp and his players.
“I thought everybody came back with a great attitude, a great focus,” he said. “And for one week we actually got a lot of good stuff in.”
One of the reasons his players might have sparked those positive assessments is because they spent much more time playing games, rather than running drills, than almost any team does in these early days of the season. We all know that players enjoy scrimmaging far more than they do running drills for hours on end, so that surely kept a smile on their faces.
But Rivers was quick to point out that he had a very specific reason for letting the team scrimmage so much, and it wasn’t just to be nice.
“You kind of learn your team each year, and early on, I don’t think this is a great drill team,” Rivers said with a chuckle. “You’ve gotta put a score on the board to get their juices going, and that’s something we learned early on in camp this year, and that’s a good sign.”
Overall, the team seemed very satisfied with camp and there were good vibes coming from the players and coaches as they exited the campus of Salve Regina University. The Celtics certainly looked like a team that's happy with the results from Phase One, and giddy to move onto Phase Two, which will begin next week at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint in Waltham, Mass.