If the Celtics were weary following the end of the Cleveland series, you couldn’t tell by the way the players acted after practice.
The entire team took extra shots and no one seemed in a rush. Ray Allen had a spirited 1 on 1 contest with Sam Cassell. Kevin Garnett engaged in his normal shootaround routine. There was definitely a lot of energy in the building.
Speaking of Allen, he spoke to the media at length and feels poised to break out of his shooting slump.
“I think personally it’s been tougher than anything I’ve ever seen, but just looking at the times we played Cleveland throughout the year and the series, they did everything they could to try to take away anything that I had,” said Allen. “They made it tough for me to create any type of rhythm out there. Kudos to their game plan. They made it tough on a lot of us. We’re fortunate that Paul [Pierce] had the game he did [in Game 7],” Allen said.
Pierce said he has received a lot of text messages about his 41-point performance, but has been too busy to read them.
“It hasn’t really sunk in,” said Pierce. “You don’t realize it until you hear what other people are saying about it, until you get the people’s reaction. To me it was two heavyweights going at it and we got a win. It was a great game to watch from a fan’s point of view from the standpoint of two guys scoring a lot of buckets. It hasn’t sunk in because we have goals we want to achieve. It was great to get that win. It was a great. But the focus is on Detroit.”
Pierce also didn’t agree that it would hurt less to get eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals than it would have in the first or second round.
“I would feel the same with this series. Our goal is to win a championship. That’s what our eyes are on,” he said. “If we don’t win a championship, I’m definitely going to be disappointed regardless to who we lose to.”
The practice was filled with media from all over New England as well as ESPN and TNT. The Celtics are expecting about 250 additional credentialed media for Game 1 tomorrow.