The Celtics are in Rome and have held their first practice. On Celtics.com Peter Stringer reports from their practice and Yahoo has posted photos from there. In spite of planning only an hour and a half practice since the players pretty much were running on a couple hours sleep, they ended up going 2 hours. It is interesting to note that the reserve beat the starters in their first scrimmage.
And while I figured the guys would be somewhat sluggish, the intensity on the floor was very high, especially at the end of the session after the white team (reserves) beat the green team (Garnett, Pierce, Ray Allen, Perkins and Rondo) in quick scrimmage game.
Despite getting just two hours of sleep, KG was clearly the most vocal -- after practice Paul Pierce said he's the most intense guy he's played with, placing him a notch above Gary Payton and Antoine Walker -- with James Posey probably coming in second. Garnett later told reporters that he gets his intensity from his mother. "The white team beat us, and I don't like to get beat. That's just what it is."
Posey had some nice finishes around the basket in traffic that impressed, and training camp invitee Esteban Batista also displayed nice touch and footwork in the paint as well.
Fromthe sounds of it, Posey is going to be a very good signing. Batista will almost surely get one of the final roster spots.
Allen is still getting used to his new surroundings. Despite working out for a few weeks with his new teammates and doing several photo shoots, he said the reality of his offseason trade was still sinking in.
"I noticed it for the first time when we walked into the hotel and I saw that sign that says Boston Celtics Team Room," Allen said. "I looked at Kevin and said, 'Wow, I'm a Boston Celtic.' That name carries a lot of weight. It has for a long time, and I'm definitely in great company."
Pierce, who reported getting barely any sleep between the flight and the time between arrival and the bus to practice, said it felt good to break a sweat but that fatigue was still a factor.
With nine new guys on the team, there'll be plenty of system review in the next few days. The opening minutes of today's session went through responsibilities during a free throw attempt and the basics how the team executes getting into one of it's basic offensive sets. Tomorrow, the team is slated to begin the first of two days of two-a-days.