Easing Back In, West Gets a Taste of Practice

Delonte West

WALTHAM - Delonte West participated in the first half of practice on Saturday (pictured at right), going through about 75 minutes of fast break and offensive drills before trainer Ed Lacerte shut him down for the afternoon, with an eye on keeping him fresh for another practice Sunday morning.

"We let him go through some physical stuff, but not total scrimmages. He did get in on some action; we went half court at the beginning of practice and he was able to get in on that," said Celtics Coach Doc Rivers. "He looked great and I think he'll practice in the next day or two, pretty much full [tilt]."

Rivers said he was surprised that West was able to go today and he didn't have him on his list of available players for today's workout, but Lacerte told him just before practice that West could participate. West spent the second half of practice in the corer riding the bike.

"It felt great, but the key was not to over-do it. I needed a little assistance from Eddie Lacerte to make sure that I didn't, he snatched me out and kept a tight rope on me and pulled me out against my will," said West. "But I got to get some extra biking in, so I definitely enjoyed that."

While West says that not much has changed in terms of the team's system, he did seem to think that he was missing out on how the pieces of the team are fitting together. It was jokingly suggested by a reporter that West was anxious to get back on the floor because he was tired of hearing about the new young point guards.

"That's all in the competition and the fun in the game. That's a good thing, because we haven't been saying that around here in the last couple of years," West said.

Rivers Probably Won't Double Down Again

Double-sessions are common at the beginning of training camp before exhibition games start, but the coach has been moving toward having one extended session rather than scheduling a twin bill of practices in the same day. The Celtics will practice again tomorrow but it sounds like they'll stick to a single session on Sunday.

"Tomorrow, that would be our last one if we do it," said Rivers of any more potential double-dips. "I'm not a big fan of two-a-days; I think if you're going to go three or four hours you might as well just do it at one time."

The Celtics will also practice in Waltham on Monday before heading off to Cleveland, where they tip off their preseason slate on Tuesday night against the Cavs, followed by a game in Toronto the following night. They'll return to Boston Wednesday night before playing a pseudo-home game in Manchester, NH at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

As far as the coach's radar, the actual games aren't even a blip just yet. They probably wont be until the team arrives in Cleveland.

"I could care less about the opponent," said Rivers. "I'm going to look at us, and how we play. You look at the opponent and what they're running because we play these teams early in the year. The hard part about my job is that I've got to look at individual performances because there are going to be some guys that aren't going to be in this gym."

As far as starting lineups or rotations, Rivers said he hasn't gotten that far either, although he did say that he is starting to see the "separation" he looks for with players in camp.

"Tony Allen is starting to show the separation that he belongs to be in games every day. He's been that good," said Rivers, who also mentioned Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak and Ryan Gomes as players who are standing out in camp. "Not having Tony last year really hurt us, more than I thought it would."

Still, whether these guys will play together in a starting lineup remains to be seen.

Paul Pierce is certainly looking forward to going against guys who aren't his teammates.

"The play has been good, it hasn't been real sloppy, but it will be good to go out there and face some competition," said Pierce.

Odds and Ends

NBATV had Rivers, Pierce and Sebastian Telfair mic'd up for their series of inside looks at NBA training camps...NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott talked to the team after practice about making sacrifices, and Rivers and Paul Pierce had nothing but praise for Lott and his message...Rivers definitely likes the spirit his team has, and says there's no distractions to be dealt with in this camp..."This is the best team that I've had as long as I've been here. They just let you coach them. You deal everyday with the team, the players and with basketball. You don't have to deal with anything else. It's phenomenal to me. They get along with each other, they get along with the staff, they listen."

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