NEWPORT, R.I. — Celtics coach Doc Rivers decided to end training camp at Salve Regina University a day earlier than expected today and gave the players the news after practice. The Celtics will have Monday off and resume practice Tuesday at their practice facility in Waltham, Mass.
Rivers said starters Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, reserve guards Tony Allen and Eddie House and newcomer center Patrick O’Bryant have been impressive in camp thus far and everyone else needs to step up. The Celtics open preseason action Wednesday night against Philadelphia at University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
“It’s important to get away,” Rivers said. “And this was perfect, it really was. The gym was great because (the floor) was (springy). I didn’t even know that, but that’s what everyone tells me. But it was just a great location, beautiful and there were a lot of restaurants after practice for guys to enjoy.
“We got out of it what we needed to get out of it, team building and getting back to being one group. I thought that was key.”
Rivers enjoyed having training camp in Newport and says he would like to have it again there next year. He likes the fact that Salve Regina had a solid practice venue in its gymnasium and that the school was in short driving distance from Boston. The Celtics had training camp in Rome last year and at the University of Vermont in 2004.
“I have ammunition now,” said Rivers, about having training camp away from Boston in the future. “The first year (I was here) they let me and we won the division. The next two years they didn’t let me and we won 18 games and 24 games. Last year they let me and we win the world championship. So, I think pretty much from now one we are going to be able to go away.”