Just about everyone on the Celtics is looking forward to slacking off this All-Star weekend including C’s coach Doc Rivers, who happens to be coaching the East squad on Sunday night at the Staples Center.
“I told [assistant coach Lawrence Frank] he’s running the practice,” Rivers joked. “I said we’re running his plays. The ones that don’t work are his, and the ones that work are mine.”
Rivers has earned the right to joke around a little — his Celtics are 40-14 at the interim, percentage points ahead of the Miami Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference. They played their last game of the first half on Wednesday night, beating the New Jersey Nets at home, and they open up the second half Tuesday.
They’re going to enjoy the time in between.
“I think everybody needs a break. Hell, I think you guys probably need a break too,” Kevin Garnett told the media this week. “I know you guys probably get tired of coming here, asking us the same old questions, being bored by us. I think the break comes at a good time.”
Four Celtics — Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen — will play for Rivers on the East squad Sunday night. And while they love the time off, they also want to savor their chance to be All-Stars.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” Pierce said. “It’s always a privilege when you make an All-Star Game, being recognized as one of the best players in the world. I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. It’s going to be great spending the weekend with my teammates.
“I don’t want to take it for granted,” said Rondo. “Because when I didn’t make it two years ago, I was pissed off. I did have a great vacation and some downtime, but every opportunity you get to make an All-Star Game, you want to make it. I don’t want to act like I’m not grateful, because that’s what you work for in the summertime, to prove yourself to your peers and be an All-Star.”
The C’s are loving their rare downtime, and they make no secret of that. But on Sunday night, they’re going to take the court and play.