Practice: Back to business

WALTHAM, Mass. -- What did the Boston Celtics do during a two-day break after completing a first-round sweep of the New York Knicks on Sunday?

"Just taking it easy, just been chilling," said reserve forward/center Glen Davis. "I went to the [New England] Aquarium, [saw] some penguins. I met a couple penguins, fed a seal. Just been chilling."

In terms of a first-round opponent, the Celtics are still chilling. Coach Doc Rivers admitted that the eyes of his staff are naturally on the Miami Heat given their 3-1 lead in an Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers. But Rivers said the team had started some prep work on both squads in the event of an unprecedented rally by Philadelphia from a three-game hole (Game 5 is Wednesday night in Miami).

Regardless, Rivers said Boston wouldn't work on anything related to another team during Wednesday's session at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint. Instead, the Celtics are focused solely on themselves.

"I told you all year, the opponent’s been us," said Rivers. "So we get a chance to work on our stuff, very similar to training camp. When you’re starting training camp, you really don’t have an opponent, you really just trying to work on all your stuff. We have an opportunity to do that with us, so that’s good."

Added Davis: "We're going to take this as a cobweb day -- like get all the cobwebs out. We've been chilling for a couple days, getting a lot of rest. [Now the Celtics have to] get our rhythm back together with each other. That's what we're going to try to focus on today. Today we [might] get to see who wins [Heat vs. 76ers], but, today's a cobweb day [for Boston]."

After giving the entire team two days to recover from the four-game sweep of the Knicks, Rivers zipped home to Orlando for a couple days with his family. He gave the players free roam, but the sign-in sheet at the practice facility revealed that more than half of them trekked in for light workouts.

"Sleep, nap, I don’t care; I told them I didn’t want to see them," quipped Rivers. "I told them that, in a change, the coaches were taking a break, not the players. No, the players could do whatever they want for two days... I haven’t had them focus on anything.

"A bunch of them actually played 3-on-3, stuff like that. You know, ball players play basketball. So that's good."

A handful of other practice notes:

* The Celtics were cautious not to provide any bulletin-board material by looking past a potential Philadelphia rally. The closest thing to an eyebrow-raiser came when Davis was asked about a potential matchup with the Heat.

"I feel like our bench is way stronger than theirs," said Davis. "We're way deeper than them. We've just got to make sure that we use our depth."

Talking more about Miami later, Davis noted, "talent-wise, they're stacked," but suggested that Boston's depth and playoff experience might give the Celtics an edge.

* Rivers on who he'd like to see emerge from the Heat-76ers series: "Listen, I’m cheering for Philly for next two games, then in Game 7, I don’t care who wins.” A seventh game would give Boston even more time to practice and recuperate, while also adding some wear and tear to the next-round opponent.

* The Celtics seemed unsure of their viewing plans for Game 5 of the Heat-76ers series. Rivers said he prefers to watch games alone and planned to hole up in his apartment. Ray Allen joked that, given his young kids, his plan would probably be, "Trying to fight [for] the remote, to get it off SpongeBob [SquarePants], going back and forth." Davis suggested some players might get together to watch the game, just to get some ideas bubbling for the next round.

* Rivers playfully scolded the media horde in attendance, noting that, "There's a Game 7," between the Bruins and Canadiens Wednesday night at the TD Garden. Rivers later predicted a Bruins win ("It'll be close") and suggested he'll be watching both the hockey game and Game 5 between the 76ers and Heat ("I have two TVs").

* Oh, The Basketball Jones, well played as always...


The Basketball Jones via kwout