WALTHAM — Gerald Wallace is a fan of defined roles, especially coming out of training camp.
“It makes the season a lot easier,” the Celtics swingman said after practice here Saturday. “I think it makes coaching a lot easier. It makes playing a lot easier.
“When you know your role, you know what you’re supposed to do and what’s expected of you and then you’re held accountable for those actions. It makes it a lot easier.”
But, currently, roles have not been defined up and down the roster for these fledgling Celtics, who will practice Sunday and play their first preseason game Monday against Toronto at TD Garden.
Of course, the Celtics have a new coaching staff and several new faces on the court — plus, they just wrapped up training camp Thursday.
Coach Brad Stevens said roles, playing time, and even the starting lineup are all yet to be determined. He also said it’s not paramount that the players have roles defined by the end of preseason.
“It’s funny, because the best teams I’ve coached have done it both ways,” Stevens said. “I don’t know if there’s an exact answer.
“I think anybody would say you’d rather have it where you knew exactly who was playing, the rotation, the minutes, all of that stuff. But then again, there’s some positives to not knowing that.
“It’s an interesting time, because if I had been here for six years, I’d probably be more focused on the lineups. Right now I’m more focused on making sure we get in what we need to get in.”
Indeed, the coaches are still figuring out the players’ tendencies, just as the players are doing the same with each other.
Wallace said that, in fact, each time the coaches draw up a screen-and-roll play, he’ll ask the big man involved in that play if he’s rolling to the basket or “popping” out for an open shot. (Wallace said every big man on the Celtics likes to “pop” on that play.)
“It’s something we have to get used to,” Wallace said. “But it’s something that we have to do. I’ve never played with these guys. They’ve never played with me. So we have to get accustomed to playing with each other and knowing what each other likes to do.”
Several players have remarked how Stevens shows an attention to detail that they haven’t seen before, harping on little things such as how to properly set a screen.
“They haven’t shown anything but willingness to do it, so it’s been great,” Stevens said. “I’m trying to balance that with making sure we can get out and play and get a good rhythm together. But you have eight exhibition games to do that.
“I kind of laugh when you talk about my attention to detail because then I go into [assistant coach Ron Adams’s] office or [assistant coach Jay Larranaga’s] office and they add 15 more layers of it.
“Then it’s just like whittling down what you can actually get done in a day.
“But we are spending a lot of time on the little things and that’s important, especially with a young team.
“That was one of the reasons why I think I was brought in was, initially, to be a part of the building stages of a program.
“I don’t use the word ‘rebuild,’ never use the word ‘rebuild.’ Every year you’re building something. You’re just building and building. And it’s been fun.”
Having a ball
Wallace, a huge Red Sox and Patriots fan, made his first trip to Fenway Park Friday, where he saw the Sox beat the Rays in the Division Series.
Wallace took a tour of the park and was let into the Red Sox clubhouse, where he met his two favorite players: David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.
Wallace said he didn’t want to take up too much of their time because it was the playoffs and he knew they’d be focused.
“I just wanted to get in and say hi and get out of their way,” he said. “The whole day was just special.”