WALTHAM, Mass. -- While chatter about Shaquille O'Neal's inability to get back on the court dominated Saturday's post-practice media session, the 14 healthy bodies on Boston's roster went through a near-two-hour workout while putting the finishing touches on preparations for Sunday's Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the New York Knicks.
"Practice was good," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, whose troops got the luxury of three days on the practice court with the Sunday night start. "Typically this is the worst day for a practice. Coaches want to do a lot and players want to do very little on the day before a playoff game. They’re trying to do whatever they can to not run into each other and get ready for a game, and their focus is usually moved on. It was that type of practice and it was pretty much anticipated."
Did the Celtics get as much accomplished as Rivers would have liked?
"We did a lot," he said. "I don’t think a coach’s list is ever filled. I don’t think you ever think you got everything done, but we got enough done, and we’ll be ready."
As the Celtics wrapped up their session, Pierce sneaked into the locker room to check out some of the Chicago-Indiana game, then emerged to chat with reporters.
"I'm just ready to get going," said Pierce. "Right now we're just watching some of the games in the locker room. [It's] not my first rodeo."
The third-seeded Celtics continue to lob verbal bouquets at the sixth-seeded Knicks, talking up the Empire Trio (Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Chauncey Billups) and their supporting cast for much of the past three days.
"You can't take any of those guys lightly when they swing the ball from their stars' hands, even though Melo and Amare are going to have the ball a lot," said Pierce. "They have more-than-capable guys that have played well throughout the course of the season, when left unattended, such as Chauncey, Landry Fields, Toney Douglas. These guys, they're more than capable and they've shown it throughout the regular season."
Rivers continues to focus on the fact that New York has three guys who are not afraid to take a big late-game shot.
"That’s a tough one because every time you’re in a close game with them, they're extremely dangerous," said Rivers. "They have three guys that can make shots, whether you play good defense or not. That's what makes this series so tough. The playoffs are about taking you out of your sets and players making plays. Well, they have three guys that can make plays. We have to be ready for that."