Paul Pierce stretches today at practice. (AP Photo)
After a much needed two-day hiatus, the Celtics practiced for about two hours today. Celtics players and coach Doc Rivers were extremely gracious to the media, talking at length with the NBA Finals on the horizon.
Prior to the two days off, the Celtics had had a game every other day since Game 3 of their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. Celtics forward Paul Pierce was very happy about getting the rest.
“It was good for the body. It was good for the mind,” Pierce said. “We’ve been going non-stop since the playoffs started, so it was good to get some rest physically or mentally from the guys … I’ve really used the last couple of days mentally and physically for myself. I really haven’t talked to anybody. I’ve just kept it quiet the past couple of days.”
Boston was 2-0 in the regular season against the Lakers and won an NBA-best 66 games. But Pierce also said that he could see how the Celtics could be considered an underdog to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
“People look at us as underdogs even though we’ve had the best record all year and beat the Lakers twice,” Pierce said. “A lot of people are looking at how we struggled versus Atlanta and had a tough time versus Cleveland. This is the first time for us together as a unit in the playoffs. What you got to understand is that what you do in the regular season is far different than how you play in the playoffs. We learned a lot about ourselves in the regular season, but the playoffs is different game. We had to relearn ourselves once again and we figured it out in Detroit. That’s probably why we are considered the underdog. But we relish being in that role.”
Rivers said that he didn’t think guard Tony Allen would be available for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday. Allen missed the last two games with an Achilles injury he suffered in practice and is expected to have an MRI. Allen, however, expressed optimism that he will be ready, but missing practices won’t help his cause.
The Celtics practice in Waltham late tomorrow morning, while the Lakers will practice at the Staples Center in Los Angeles tomorrow before flying to Boston in the afternoon. Both teams will practice and conduct media interviews at TD Banknorth Garden on Wednesday.