Tristan Thompson on Saturday finally participated in practice with his Boston Celtics teammates since the hamstring strain he sustained just before training camp.
There’s still no update for his status ahead of Wednesday’s season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. But the big man took the intensity of the workout to another level after Boston’s lackluster preseason performance.
?He did a lot of practice today and you could tell our energy went to a different level,? Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters of Thompson?s impact at practice, via NBC Sports Boston. ?In large part because he brings a physicality that we really need. I thought he added to the play today and the competitiveness.?
A smaller, younger Celtics lineup certainly could have benefited from a healthy Thompson during their preseason games the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.
The veteran center may have been a silver lining in Boston’s defensive woes if available this week. Still, while he’s working towards making that happen, he apparently is bringing as much as he can to practice.
“He’s that guy that protects us and it’s great to have as a vet, it’s great to have him as a leader,” Grant Williams said Saturday, via NBC Sports Boston. “And it’s going to be great to have him back on the court.”
That role is one Thompson is fully taking on, especially as someone who’s won NBA championships and knows how to play with superstar talent.
“We’ve got these talented young stars on our team, and for me being one of the old heads that have been around the block. Especially under the age of 30, making me feel old at 29 but, nevertheless. The wisdom that I’ve learned from my past experience to help give it to these guys, whether it’s the good, bad or the ugly, at the end of the day I want to help this team be the best we can be,” Thompson said Saturday, via NBC Sports Boston.
“I feel like my voice and what I’ve been through and what I see, it’s going to challenge them and I think if I can light a fire under their ass to get them going and try to make everyone just 1% better, then I’ve done my job.”
With or without Thompson’s energy playing in the game, the Celtics start the season Wednesday at TD Garden.