Sunday, June 8, 2008

Making practices more competitive

Saw a note the other day about 1985-86 Celtics team that won the NBA title and how, according to Rick Carlisle, the team's turning point was the acquisition of veteran Bill Walton, who would come off the bench for BOS.

Carlisle remembers that each day in practice, the starting five -- Bird, Parish, McHale, DJ, and Ainge -- would scrimmage the back-ups, which included Walton, Carlisle, 22-year-old Sam Vincent,veteran guard Scotty Wedman, 6-foot guard Jerry Sichting, journeyman forward David Thirdkill, and center Greg Kite.

But it wasn't the typical end-of-practice-scrimmage. They kept careful track of which team won, posting the daily results and updated W-L record in the locker room for all to see.

Carlisle credits Walton for helping to bring out the best in all of the guys, starters and reserves alike:

“His presence allowed other role players like play at a higher level. All of a sudden our practices became very competitive.”