Young Celtics Hard At Work

Recently filled everyone in on what some of the Celtics young players are up to this summer, including community events and vacation plans. Now we'd like to fill you all in on what some of the young players' goals are in the gym.

As the norm this time of year, there is quite a buzz out at the Sports Authority Training Center in Waltham, where the Celtics basketball operations staff is preparing for the draft and free agency period. There are routine visits from current draft prospects hoping to catch Danny Ainge's eye and be added to his list of draft steals.

Something that has gone virtually unnoticed and unreported is the fact that the most intense workouts in Waltham are not by prospective draft prospects, but by the Celtics most recent draft picks, as many of the Celtics young players are hard at work looking to improve upon their promising play.

Right now the guys are pretty much going five days a week. Most of the young guys are working out Monday through Friday, sometimes twice a day, then they usually go their separate ways on the weekend.

The main culprits of the weekly workout sessions have been Al Jefferson, Delonte West and Tony Allen, but there is no denying that the ring leader is second-year center Kendrick Perkins, something that should not be surprising considering what "Perk" did to his body last summer. Perkins has assumed the role of a sort of 'big brother' to forward Al Jefferson, as he tries to learn the ropes in the NBA.

Although the four young players are working out together, that doesn't mean they're going through the same workout, as each player's regimen is tailored to their specific needs. caught up with Celtics Strength and Coaches Bryan Doo and Walter Norton, Jr. to find out what each player is working on in the gym this summer.

Kendrick Perkins: 6-10, 280
2003 NBA Draft (27th Overall)

04-05: Averaged 2.5 points and 2.9 boards in 9.1 minutes per game... Grabbed a career-high 13 boards vs. New York (12/22)

Summer Goals: Similar to last summer, Perkins is working out extremely hard and often, with the only difference being that Al Jefferson is along for the ride this time around. Perk is continuing to work on his overall body, including dropping more body fat, increasing his vertical leap and conditioning level. Along with lifting weights he's been doing court running and ladder work. Ladder work is basically a ladder made of rope laid on the ground in which the player jumps in and out of the ladder rungs forward, backwards and side-by-side in an effort to improve footwork.

Al Jefferson: 6-10, 265
2004 NBA Draft (15th Overall)

Averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 boards in 14.8 minutes per game... Named 2nd Team All-Rookie... Scored 17 points and grabbed 10 boards in the got milk? Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend.

Summer Goals: As you might suspect, Al's summer plan is basically a total body workout, in an effort to better handle the rigors of an 82 game schedule. Al's been coming in twice a day to work with the strength and conditioning coaches, with the morning sessions consisting of weights and conditioning, and the evening session being shooting drills and extra conditioning work.

Delonte West: 6-4, 180
2004 NBA Draft (24th Overall)

04-05: Averaged 4.5 points in 13.0 minutes per game... Went 7-1 as a starter, including playoffs.

Summer Goals: A main goal for Delonte this summer is to add 12-15 pounds to his frame. With this goal in mind he's working with heavier weights to add more bulk, as opposed to lower weights and higher reps for some of the other guys who are mainly trying to tone. He's also upped his calorie intake as well as improved his overall nutrition. Also, with Doc's running game in mind, Delonte is trying to improve his conditioning with bike sprints, treadmill form running and court running.

Tony Allen: 6-4, 213
2004 NBA Draft (25th Overall)

04-05: Averaged 6.4 points and 2.9 boards in 16.4 minutes per game... Scored 17 points in the got milk? Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend... Finished 3rd in the NBA in steals per 48 minutes.

Summer Goals: Jumpers, jumpers and more jumpers are the plan for Allen this summer. Although he shot an impressive 47.5% from the field his rookie year, a more consistent jumper could make Allen a much more dangerous player. As far as his body goes, we all know Allen is very strong, but this summer he's working on balance, conditioning and flexibility. He's trying to gain equal strength throughout his body, doing a lot of one leg squats.

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