WALTHAM, Mass. -- During Monday's practice at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint, Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressed that he was happy with his team's overall effort in Sunday's overtime win over the Knicks and simply felt Boston's shots didn't fall during regulation.
Rivers considered the win a step in the right direction, especially in terms of ball movement and execution. He continued to implore his players to shoot when they have open looks, even though their shots haven't been falling recently.
"These guys have shot well for 30 years," said Rivers. "They haven't forgotten in a month, so just keep shooting.
"Execution-wise, we're getting there. Early in the year, the point I've been making is, it ain't like we're panicked about it. [We haven't been] doing it and we're starting to do it. [Sunday], we did it great, we just couldn't make shots. Days like [Monday] and [Tuesday] will help."
Practice? Well, sort of
While the Celtics "practiced" Monday, Rivers wasn't sure that was the best term for a workout that saw limited activity for the starters and more of a walkthrough of different sets for the second unit.
Captain Paul Pierce wasn't on the floor for the portion of practice viewed by the media, but Rivers said he had been on the court earlier and was simply in the back receiving routine treatment.
"We didn't really have a practice," said Rivers. "We did a lot of walkthrough on the defense and offense, just cleaning up what we had slippage on. I didn't think this was a day we needed to be running up and down the floor. Then with the white group [second unit], we went through a lot of stuff."
The second unit could be seen working on various inbound plays late in the session. Nearly the entire coaching staff worked with that unit, including Rivers in the middle of it all, while the starters -- sans Pierce -- shot free throws with director of basketball development Tyronn Lue at the other end of the court.
Besides Pierce, the other 13 players with the team were on the court, including Tony Allen, who continues to nurse an injured right ankle. Glen "Big Baby" Davis was his usual butterfly self, bouncing between players and drills, while dribbling with his healthy left hand.
Can KG's winner provide spark?
Kevin Garnett was asked if his winning jumper from the top of the key in overtime Sunday could be the spark the Celtics have been missing lately. He hoped it would provide a jolt to the team, which has gone 4-4 since its 6-0 start.
"I'd definitely say that; it's a positive thing," said Garnett. "We'll take it and try to ride the wave, if you will. Other than that, I've seen it, some teams I've been on. Teammates or ex-teammates hit a big shot and you win five or six in a row. We didn't have this caliber team, so sure, things can definitely happen."
Giddens dominates in 1-on-1
At the close of practice, J.R. Giddens joined a group that included Kendrick Perkins, Lester Hudson and Rajon Rondo for some spirited 1-on-1 drills, with the player able to make a shot or a stop staying on the court as the others rotated in and out.
Utilizing a blistering outside jumper, Giddens won five 1-on-1 battles in a row before calling it a day.
Those players then joined Tony Allen and Davis lounging beneath one basket and joked with Lue as he attempted to re-create Garnett's three-quarter-court shot from last week. Lue hit glass a couple of times, but didn't come close to matching Garnett, much to the delight of the players ribbing him from beneath the basket.