The Celtics are going to be dealing with a number of unique situations over the next three months in the Orlando bubble, but their first one arrived just hours after their arrival. Instead of their originally scheduled three-hour training camp session, unknown circumstances forced the C’s practice time to be cut in half to 90 minutes.
Brad Stevens attempted to downplay the situation as the C’s hit the court together as a team for the first time in nearly four months.
“We’re able to hit curveballs if we need to, like today when we were a little bit pushed back, no big deal,” Stevens declared.
The unexpected reduced practice window was a sign of the new reality teams are going to have to face in Orlando when sharing facilities with 21 other teams. It won’t be the last time it happens but it didn’t take away from the good vibes of getting the entire team on the floor for the C's head coach.
Stevens announced the entire roster was able to participate in some portion of practice after they everyone tested negative for COVID-19 on two occasions in Orlando after 36 hours of room quarantine. That clean bill of health makes Boston one of the playoff teams in Orlando with a full team ready to roll. Beyond the training staff wisely taking it easy on Kemba Walker as he returns to action following knee issues, everyone hit the ground running, according to the head coach.
“Everybody did some portion,” Stevens said. “We’re going to move very slowly with Kemba Walker and let him strengthen and make sure that he’s all good to go when we enter the seeding games and then obviously into the playoffs.”
So what did Stevens takeaway from the first live 5-on-5 action he’s seen in months?
“Overall, very good,” Stevens reported. “Physically good, moving well, able to do things on the fly as far as things we are trying to do on both ends of the floor. There's going to be a lot of habit building. There were a few fumbles, a few too many turnovers that you would expect in a normal training camp, let alone after a hiatus like this. The good news is that everybody wanted to play more when we were done. That's good because we have a build up here over the next three weeks where we feel we can do exactly what we need to do to be ready.”
Jaylen Brown in particular liked what he saw from the younger portions of the 17-man roster that had made the trip for the C’s, comparing the experience to the first day of a normal day of training camp.
“I don’t think it was too much of a difference,” said of comparing the practice to a usual training camp. “We had a lot of guys with a lot of great energy, a lot of the young guys had a lot of high energy, so I think we’re ready. We’re looking forward to getting things started, getting things going.”
First practice ✅ pic.twitter.com/wKWKPjtk3e
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 10, 2020
With lots of players around the league using social media endlessly upon arriving in Orlando to depict questionable food options or tighter hotel room accommodations than usual, Brown has elected to take a different track. The fourth-year swingman emphasized wanting to keep a narrow focus on the task at hand while pushing out distractions, starting with his own social media.
“I’m not going to do too much complaining or do any complaining at all, to be honest,” Brown said of the