The Celtics squeezed a practice this morning and worked on some fun things. We've been talking about how versatile the Celtics roster is this season and Doc spent this morning's session working on small ball sets that will use that versatility to exploit matchups in their opponents.
"[Rondo] will be very happy. We put [the small lineups] in yesterday, but we didn’t work on it. Today, almost exclusively, we'll have small lineups on the floor," said Rivers. "We’re going to change them all around, so that will be fun. This is the first year that we’ve actually really worked on it. We’re going to work on it every day."
The combinations are fun to think about. How about Rondo, Terry, Lee, Green, and Bass. Or maybe Terry, Bradley, Lee Pierce and Wilcox. Or even Bradley, Lee, Green and Wilcox or Bass. Think small and fast. Doc must be like a kid in a candy shop with so many possibilities.
After their workout, the team boarded a plane and headed to Turkey for the next phase of their training camp. They will play a game in Turkey on Friday before heading to Milan. The last time the Celtics had training camp overseas, they won the championship. That season they credited the trip for helping them to build superior chemistry on the team. They are hoping that this trip will help the team develop chemistry just as that one did in 2007.
Doc talked about doing some sightseeing. Rondo is thinking of doing some shopping on the trip. If you recall, in Rome, KG did some shopping and bought all the rookies new suits. I don't see Rondo providing the rookies with suits as a result of his shopping trips, but it's possible that KG may join him on his shopping trip to suit up the rookies again. After his GQ internship this summer, Rondo can give KG some sartorial advice. But, all that aside, the purpose of the trip is to build chemistry as a team.
“Obviously we want to work on team chemistry," Kevin Garnett said. "Obviously we want to get better every time we step on the floor. From a basketball standpoint obviously we’re still getting to know each other. But it’s bigger than that. I think the trip to Turkey will be more social. The trip to Milan will be more for the chemistry."
The Celtics will have their own impromptu tour guide with them. Dionte Christmas spent 8 months during the 2010-11 season playing Mersin of the Turkish Basketball League.
"I would say, just take in the whole experience in general," Christmas said. "Just go out and walk the streets and see how different it is. It's nice. People will welcome us, I'm pretty sure. The whole experience itself is what got me. There wasn't a specific place I wanted to go, like when I was in Israel, I wanted to go to Jerusalem and Nazareth, and in Greece there were some places I wanted to go. But in Turkey, just seeing all of Istanbul is an experience."
Dionte passed up lucrative offers to play in Europe this season to accept a partially guaranteed contract with the Celtics. He would seem to have the inside track on one of the final spots on the team. I can't wait till Friday when they play the first game. Here's video from after practice this morning.