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Boston is making this playoff run without practices

Jun 7, 2012, 2:35 PM EDT

Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce AP

This is how you handle a veteran team that knows what is needed in the playoffs. Doc Rivers gets it.

Boston is making a longer playoff run than everyone not wearing green-tinted glasses expected, and they are doing it without traditional practices. From the New York Times.

Rajon Rondo joked last week that he thought the last time the team had a real practice was “probably like nine months ago.” He is not that far off.

The last time the Celtics practiced was before the start of the playoffs in April — and that was only because they were given an extra day between the end of the regular season and the start of their first-round series with the Atlanta Hawks. They have done nothing in the playoffs but watch film and go through game plans on day-of-game shootarounds. It is Allen Iverson’s ideal situation.

Frankly, there are fewer practices during an NBA season than fans realize — there just isn’t time with travel and games. That was particularly true this season. Still, this speaks to a coach who has the pulse of his team.

After five seasons and playoffs together (at least the core), this team knows what it takes to win in the playoffs. What matters more than drills is health — keeping the older legs fresh, letting the bumps and bruises from playoff dives to the floor for loose balls heal up. You watch film, you talk and walk through strategy, then you trust that your veterans know how to apply that come game time.

You treat them like adults, not high schoolers. It is how Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich coach, and it’s worked out pretty well for those two.

  1. andyhr17 - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    We’re talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? We’re talking about practice. They know they’re supposed to be there. They know they’re supposed to lead by example . . . TheyI know it’s important . . . they honestly do. But we’re talking about practice, man. What are we talking about? Practice?

  2. habibthomas - Jun 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    So Allen Iverson has been villafied all the years for nothing . I guess he knew what he was talking about and here is the proof. Great players who haven’t practiced since April and now they are one game away from the Finals, go figure. This is what happens when things get over exaggerated. Thank you Allen.

  3. canehouse - Jun 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Interesting… you have to admire Doc’s feel for the moment… he has proved time and time again… that is one of his biggest attributes as a coach… and probably as a person and a father.

    • florida727 - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      Probably should have left off the last part. Absentee father whose son grew up playing his high school ball in Winter Park, FL, with only his mom watching most of his games.

  4. saintsfan83 - Jun 7, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    The iverson quote will never die

  5. lakerluver - Jun 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    We are so quick to crown Pop the NBA’s best coach, well, what about Doc? Brooks out coached Pop, but I’ve never seen Doc get out coached. And I’m not even remotely a Celtics fan.

  6. betamaze - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Memo to Paul Pearce: The next time you’re sitting up in the rafters at Boston Garden reminiscing about the Celtics’ past glory, hang youself with one of those banners.

  7. jucam1 - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    If you can’t remember watching Doc Rivers getting out coached then you have only been watching Bball for 4-5 years… Amazing how good he can be with 3 vets that are hall of famers too…. Trust me junior, Pop is head, shoulders, and probably belt line over Doc

  8. fanz928 - Jun 8, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Brooks never out coach pop, the thunder had a better team period.

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