ISTANBUL — Doc Rivers wasn’t kidding when he said the Celtics’ trip to Europe would be focused on business. The club worked out for three hours today at Darussafaka Spor Klub Dernegi, a facility on one of the city’s private school campuses.
The session was mostly scrimmaging and the players were intense despite arriving in town less than 24 hours before. Kevin Garnett sank the winning shot in the final scrimmage, one of his customary midrange jumpers, as the session went into overtime. Players were battling and there was even a brief shoving match that involved Garnett and Dionte Christmas.
Courtney Lee jokingly stepped in the middle of the fray and cooled any tensions. Afterward, the players and coaches were available to the local media and Turkish reporters and camera poured onto the court for interviews. Friday’s matchup against Fenerbache Ulker is a significant one locally because Fenerbache is one of the favorites to win the Turkish League and perhaps compete for a Euro League title.
“They’re a really good team, I don’t know a lot about them,” Rivers said. “Even if it was a game we were playing the Knicks tomorrow, we wouldn’t talk about the Knicks because it’s the preseason. In preseason, the way I coach, I rarely bring up the other team. I just focus on our stuff. Our goal is to be ready for opening night.”
- Chris Wilcox sat out with back spasm but he was jogging the sidelines with teammate Avery Bradley. Wilcox is considered day-to-day.
- Three Celtics, including Dionte Christmas and Darko Milicic, slipped on the slick court and took ugly tumbles, but every player came out of practice healthy.
- Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were surrounded by local media and talked mostly about the team’s chances this season. Garnett, in a jovial mood of late, even grabbed a reporter’s tape recorder and used it as a microphone.
- The Celtics return to practice in the same location Thursday morning at 11 a.m. local time before lunch and an NBA Cares event in the afternoon.