After taking a typical offday Friday on the heels of a back-to-back, the Celtics return to the court Saturday with an afternoon practice at a Chicago-area college.
Boston, which has lost four of its last five, had gone nearly a full month without an honest-to-goodness offday practice before engaging in a session Tuesday at its practice facility in Waltham. The team stayed in Chicago following Thursday's loss and will now get a second practice this week before flying up to Detroit in advance of Sunday's rematch with the Pistons.
The Celtics have geared their travel itinerary during this four-game road stretch before the All-Star break to limit the wear and tear of travel (the fact that they have some shorter flights aids that cause as well). Even still, a tough turnaround looms as, after Sunday night's game in Detroit, Boston flies to Dallas for the tail end of another back-to-back against the defending NBA champion Mavericks. The Celtics will then take advantage of an offday Tuesday by staying in Dallas overnight (instead of flying right out to Oklahoma City).
Earlier in the season, coach Doc Rivers said every team in the is trying to figure out the best practices for travel and maximizing rest in this condensed, 66-game season.
"We’re still working on how to do this schedule, even the flying," Rivers said in December. "Do you leave after the [second game of a back-to-back on the road], or do you stay and get a good night’s sleep? ... Those are the things we still have to figure out, because getting in at 4 a.m. is not healthy on back-to-back nights."