Perhaps this is a training camp in name only, because from what Enes Kanter can tell, the Celtics are further along than teams in comparable (non-bubble) situations.

“It is similar like training camp, but the players are more ready,” the Celtics center said during Sunday’s media teleconference. “I have witnessed nine training camps, and after two or three weeks this is definitely the most ready I’ve seen with any team.

“Everybody is talking, everybody is communicating, everybody is in game shape,” said Kanter. “It’s going to be fun when the game starts, man, because the other thing is, you have to get your shots up and get that rust off. But the important thing is building that chemistry. I think the Celtics did an amazing job in three months of quarantine building chemistry and staying together. It’s going to be fun when the games start.”

Brad Stevens won’t go quite that far.

“Ahead from the standpoint of system, implementation, understanding, just because we’ve already had a full season, everyone’s back,” said the Celtics coach. “There’s like a whole season’s worth of schemes and things you’ve done.

“And then I think the challenge coming in, which you knew, would be conditioning, reacclimating the players to playing five-on-five, all that stuff. So ahead in the former, not as far as I thought, maybe, in the latter. I think every team is probably pretty similar in that regard. I don’t think there’s going to be much difference between us all as far as readiness goes.”

SNITCH HOTLINE

The NBA Campus Hotline, better known in the bubble as the snitch hotline, has already snared at least one scofflaw.

And the Lakers’ Dwight Howard, buzzed for not wearing a mask, let everyone know via social media that he wasn’t pleased – and wasn’t close enough to anyone to put them in danger, anyway.

But, as Kanter noted, if you obey the rules, then there’s no worrying about the tattlers.

“The snitch hotline, obviously, if everyone follows the rules we won’t have any problem,” said Kanter. “All the Celtics are following the protocols and following the rules, and we haven’t had any problem.”

SKIN IN THE GAME

Kanter, who has taken to showing up shirtless for his videoconferences with the media, said the look is here to stay. It sort of fits with how this team is enjoying its bubble time, from Jayson Tatum’s golf addiction to the beach volleyball game that the team of Marcus Smart and Vincent Poirier played against Kanter and Tacko Fall on Saturday.

“It’s fun, man. Obviously we’re going to be here til October 12th, so it’s important to keep building that team chemistry, and everybody is away from their family, you know?” he said. “So this is our family now. The next three months, those guys are my brothers, this is our family, so we’re just going to go out there and have fun, play smart, push each other but have fun every day.”

JERSEY HOMAGE

Jaylen Brown, who likes Jimmy Butler’s idea of playing without a name on the back of his jersey to leave a space for the names of black victims of police violence, has spent his off-time conferring with other NBA players attempting to expand their social platform in the bubble.

“I’m trying to find ways to get out with my teammates or people outside that feel the same way, (as) I do, just so we can put our heads together and continue to have this conversation,” he said. “Because right now, a lot of athletes are here together and we’re not politicians, we’re not educators, we’re not political elites, but we do have influence, and we can continue to keep those conversations alive. So a part of me being here is trying to get up with a lot of those guys who feel the same way I do – who are down here not just for the purpose of playing basketball, but because we’re playing basketball in the midst of everything that’s kind of going (on) outside. (I’m) tying to be a bridge and connect with a lot of those guys, and be courageous enough to speak on some of those things in a positive manner. (It’s) a part of that journey too, a part of that routine.”

Brown began Sunday’s session by calling attention to changes made to police policy in Louisville, Kentucky, stemming from the death of Breonna Taylor – an EMT who was shot to death when police mistakenly barged into her apartment last March.

So-called “no-knock” warrants have now been banned in Louisville.

RESTED AND READY

Kanter said an ongoing hip issue as healed thanks to three months of rest, and that overall the Celtics are now a relatively spry, pain-free group.

“The whole Celtics, they were calling us the hospitalized Celtics before this quarantine,” he said. “But now, man, the NBA should be scared because everybody is healthy now, everybody is 100 percent now, and everybody is going at it.”

Stevens said that Kemba Walker, who is being brought back slowly due to lingering soreness in his left knee, took part in the first 50 minutes of yesterday’s practice.


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