Celts Enjoy Sox Celebration; Pollard Practices

WALTHAM - With exhibition season over, the Celtics will spend the week in Waltham making final preparations for the regular season to begin. But while the Celtics are just getting their season underway, they had great interest in watching the Sox wrap up their World Series title Sunday night.

"What you always watch is the celebration more than the game, and all of the different things that happen in celebrations," said Coach Doc Rivers. "You can notice a lot from that."

Rivers was also quick to point out that while the Celtics have been newsstand coverboys for the last week, they've yet to win anything themselves.

"We're on the cover, and we've done nothing," Rivers said. "We're not a championship team today. And every day we work toward it, maybe we can get to it. We literally know that the Spurs are the champs, and the Cavs are the champs in the East. There's a long line of teams in front of us. So you can give us whatever you want, but none of those other teams are going to give it to us."

Guard Ray Allen said that he slept through the end of the game, but relived the final outs through the magic of Tivo, and he too was also highly interested in the moments right after the final strikeout was recorded.

"To see the celebration at the end of the year, you live it with them and you understand what a wonderful ride it's been," Allen said. "The most natural of feelings is when that last strike occurs. [When] Papelbon threw his glove in the air, that right there is the most raw emotion when you've won. Everything that you've done, that you've played for, is for that moment right there."

Pollard Returns to Practice

Reserve center Scot Pollard took to the practice floor Monday for the full session, and he was upbeat about returning to action, noting that he was taking "baby steps" toward being ready to go for Friday's season opener against the Wizards.

Pollard sprained his left ankle during workouts before training camp, so Monday was his first official practice with the Celtics.

"I'm obviously not in basketball shape but it was good to get out and run around and actually be a part of the team on the court," Pollard said. "Hopefully, knock on wood, we're past the point of [my ankle] reacting a huge amount."

Rivers said that while Pollard doesn't know much of the playbook from sitting out so long, he looked good all things considered.

"If you don't play, I don't care, you can watch it all day, but once it goes full speed, you're not going to run it very well. We anticipated that. Some of the things we run he's run in the past [with other teams] and those are easy for him. Anything new, he didn't have timing or space or anything like that. He's still not moving great but he knows how to play defense."

Pollard agreed with Rivers with regard to being behind on the playbook, but figures that if he had to miss an extended period of time, training camp would be the time to sit out.

"Any time you have an injury in the NBA, its such a long season, and if you come back to quick it lingers foever because you don't have a break during the season," Pollard said. "So it's better to miss more now than miss games during the regular season."

While it remains to be seen how his ankle will respond to a full day's work, Pollard sounded confident that he'd at least be in uniform Friday night and be ready if needed.

"Barring any setbacks, I would hope so," Pollard said. "Unless I wake up tomorrow and my leg looks like a balloon, I would think that we're going to keep going with at least the expectation of being in uniform on Friday."

Doc's Diagnosis

Rivers characterized Eddie House's camp as "up and down." While he stressed that House is a terrific shooter, he does think House has a way to go while playing the point guard position, and added that he likes having Tony Allen run the point with House on the floor so that House can concentrate on doing what he does best, shooting the basketball. Said Rivers: "I'm not worried about his shot. I think taking him off the point, playing him and Tony together, it allows him to go back to what he does, and that's shoot the ball. When Eddie's trying to run the team, I think his shot suffers."....Rivers is a big fan of having several consecutive days of practice after the exhibition slate ended. "After the season starts, you probably have five quality practices the rest of the year. This gives us a chance to have some more good practices before the season starts. Once the season starts, you play games, your starters are playing 40 minutes, and it's tough to have a good practice," Rivers said. He also indicated that as the season draws closer, the length of each practice gets shorter, as he wants to keep his guys' legs strong for the season.

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