ISTANBUL — The Celtics could have easily rested at their team hotel to recover from their 10-hour flight, which stopped in Iceland for refueling and arrived in Turkey at approximately 1:30 p.m.
But coach Doc Rivers ended any thoughts of a day off by holding a short workout at the Besiktas Akatlar Arena. The Celtics practiced for about an hour before returning to the team hotel for what was expected to be a long night of rest in preparations for an 11 a.m. workout Wednesday morning.
The Celtics face Fenerbache Ulker on Friday at 9 p.m. Istanbul time.
“I thought if we went straight [to the hotel] and let them do nothing, they would fall asleep,” Rivers said Tuesday evening. “We went back and forth on it, but just getting them in the gym was the right thing.”
Said Paul Pierce: “I’m still a little jet-lagged, trying to catch up. All of us are. So we’re trying to figure out.
“It’s good for us to get up, get into the gym, after practice and go have some dinner and just kind of be on a regular clock schedule. So we have can have fresh legs for tomorrow’s practice.”
Everybody participated in practice, including Courtney Lee, who said he was fighting a deep thigh bruise the past few weeks.
Rivers said he is not concerned about any security issues, and he trusts the NBA and its security force with protecting the team
“I am aware of it, but not much,” he said. “Look, I have blind trust sometimes, probably foolishly, but I do. I just figure we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t safe.
“No. 1, the NBA is smarter than that. You can’t walk anywhere without bumping into a black suit or security. That’s great, and I travel a lot, too, so I don’t give it much thought.”
Rivers said the team is working mostly on defense but the goal is to have just enough offense to play a game. And he also likes playing two European teams to begin the preseason because they run mainly pick-and-roll offenses.