The Boston Celtics are out to prove the value of fighting among themselves.
Celtics players and coaches noted in an article The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach published Thursday how intensely competitive their practices have been over the first week-plus of training camp. One of Thursday’s scrimmages included a verbal altercation between Grant Williams and Marcus Smart over the hot-button issue of flopping.
“You know how it goes, man,” center Robert Williams told Himmelsbach. “(Grant Williams) felt like he ain’t flop. We felt like he flopped. But like I said, it’s better to get that (stuff) out now than when we play against other people.”
Celtics newcomer Josh Richardson reckons early infighting can be “great” for a team.
“The competitive spirit is great for sure,” Richardson told Himmelsbach. “I kind of like it when it gets chippy like that. I think it’s good for our team, and for my whole life I’ve known the guys you get in a fight with normally come out on the other end closer. I think it?s good for us and good for our growth.”
Assistant coach Aaron Miles believes settles on a key point about training-camp battles: Once the regular season begins, players must aim that competitive fire solely at their opponents.
“We already know we?ve got some dogs out there,” Miles said. “… So everybody?s excited. And some of it is it?s their nature. Having these dogs out there. The key is once we start playing that guys support one another on the floor, and really, genuinely sacrifice for one another and want to see each other succeed. I think that?s important.”
Chances are the 2021-22 Celtics might be better than the NBA community predicts. However, that wouldn’t surprise anyone who has had the chance to witness some of their early fall battles with each other.