Stevens Eyes Monday as C's Take-Off Day
WALTHAM, Mass. – Brad Stevens has a plan, and that plan is for his Celtics team to take off with no restrictions come October 28.
Boston’s head coach is doing everything he can to have his players fully healthy and charged up by that date. That’s why Jared Sullinger missed the last two days with an illness, and why Gerald Wallace and Vitor Faverani did not participate in Thursday afternoon’s practice.
“You’d like it to be October 1 and never change,” Stevens said of having every player at full health, “but you realize that that’s not always the case. So now, for us really, we need to get through the end of this week and get more crisp in what we do, get better at what we do, and by the time the weekend’s over we want to be full speed ahead.”
With that in mind, there isn’t much to worry about regarding Boston’s three players who missed time over the past three days.
The team allowed Sullinger to stay home on Tuesday and Wednesday so that he could overcome his illness. Though he had a rough couple of days, Sullinger was happy to get back on the floor this afternoon.
“Yeah, it felt good to get out of the house,” he said. “I was in my bed the whole time, just laying down and just trying to hold in all of the food I had the night before. So everything’s smooth now.”
Sullinger noted that he felt “very sluggish” during today’s practice, but that’s to be expected. Stevens understood what Sullinger was going through and thought his big man should use today’s practice to get back into the swing of things.
“He looked OK. He felt a little bit better,” Stevens said. “Sometimes when you’re sick, running is good to kind of get the cobwebs out. You can kind of tell he was not 100 percent, but it was good to have him back.”
Stevens may witness similar cobwebs when Wallace and Faverani rejoin the team on the practice floor. Wallace, who was wearing a full-body Patriots sweat suit, divulged this afternoon that he will sit out four straight days and then return to practice on Monday. Though we haven’t gotten confirmation, Faverani may be under a similar plan.
Just because these players are out does not mean they’re dealing with serious injuries. As Stevens said, the decision to hold Wallace and Faverani out is purely precautionary.
“We’re just being preventative with him,” Stevens said of Wallace. “He’s played a lot of games in his career and he plays games harder than a lot of guys do. So at the end of the day you just want to make sure he’s available come next Wednesday.”
Stevens stayed on the same track as he discussed Faverani.
“He should be fine, too,” said the coach. “I think it’s also a very preventative (measure). We’re making sure that we’re taking the appropriate steps to make sure he’s not only – kind of like Phil’s ankle last week – we don’t want guys necessarily to be available, we want them to be full go, especially at this time of the year.”
Full go is what Monday will be all about. The Celtics are expected to practice tomorrow night at TD Garden before gearing up for Monday’s take-off. This is all a part of Stevens’ master plan to hit the ground running a few days before Opening Night.