After holding back for a bit in their first two days of practice, the Boston Celtics went all out in practice on Sunday. Coach Brad Stevens was pleased with his team's turnout. The Boston Celtics' All Star point guard Kemba Walker sat out the practice, which was all part of Stevens' plan to keep him in shape for game time.
Boston Celtics star would have preferred 'I Matter' on the back of the jersey
Marcus Smart will be wearing 'Freedom' on the back of his jersey - a choice that he would gladly have swapped for the message 'I Matter'. He is of the opinion that seeding with no home court advantage is for the better, and allows them to focus on the ball game more than anything.
Smart added that the Boston Celtics are spending much time off court bonding with each other. Playing video games and doing other stuff outside of their hotels are both part of their activities together. The bonding will undoubtedly take the Boston Celtics' chemistry up another level on the court according to him.
Smart isn't the only Boston Celtics player to have revealed the social message on the back of his jersey. Gordon Hayward is reportedly having the message 'Education Reform' printed with his jersey number on the back of his outfit
The Boston Celtics' head coach said he's been giving the team's rookies plenty of running time on the starting fives in 5-on-5 practice. According to him, the rookies have been really good so far, and have all shown improvement from where they were at the start of the season.
Stevens had words of encouragement for second-year center Robert Williams, who is staging a return from a hip injury sustained in December. Speaking about his potential, he stated:
He's got great vertical athleticism. Hopefully he maintains good health. We hoped to have good flexibility at that spot. When he's had his opportunity, he's had some moments ."
Brad Stevens expects Robert Williams to give the Boston Celtics more versatility at the center position. Stevens likes Williams' improvement defending pick-and-rolls. He said Williams looks like "an older player" now compared to last season, a sentiment echoed by defensive ace and combo guard Marcus Smart.
The game has definitely slowed down for him. But he's still got his head at the rim and catching crazy lobs. For us as a team, having the game slow down for him is huge for us."