Allen attributes ankle problems to calves

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Allen attributes ankle problems to calves

BOSTON -- Ray Allen has missed more than 10 games this season due to right and left ankle injuries. As the Boston Celtics look ahead to their playoff push, health is of the utmost importance to the 16-year veteran guard.

In order to maintain his ankles, Allen, who has sat out the past four games with a sore right ankle, is paying extra attention to another part of his body: his calves.

He attributes some of his ankle problems over the years to his over-sized muscles. Allen underwent double ankle surgery in 2007.

"Ive been told that I have huge calf muscles my whole life," Allen, 36, said earlier this month. "But theyre always like the bane of my pain, of my existence, because I always feel tightness in there. When they do get tight, it keeps my ankles from moving."

Allen missed three games in January with a jammed left ankle. He suffered a sore right ankle in March after slipping on a wet spot in a game against the Clippers in Los Angeles. Allen played through the injury and has been limited since then. He missed six games from March 23 through April 1 and returned for five games (four off the bench), but has not played since April 10.

In order to increase flexibility and stability in his ankles, Allen wears Phiten titanium discs on both calves and, as of late, Kinesio tape on his right calf during games. He has also become more aggressive stretching his calves before he plays.

"One thing weve been working on is getting them loose so they dont keep my ankles from moving and being able to develop those muscles down there," Allen said. "When Im running around and my muscles arent working, I have more of a tendency to roll it."

Allen is averaging 14.2 points (45.8 FG, 45.3 3PG), 3.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists this season. Second-year guard Avery Bradley has started at the shooting guard spot in 13 of the last 14 games.

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Celtics-Raptors preview: Ibaka is 'capable of changing the game'

Celtics-Raptors preview: Ibaka is 'capable of changing the game'

TORONTO – The decision to stand pat at the trade deadline for the Boston Celtics was made in part because they felt that as their roster is constructed, they can hold their own with anybody.

We’re going to find out just how true that is tonight as they face a revamped Toronto Raptors team that added a couple of notable players via trade, chief among them being Serge Ibaka from Orlando.

“That was a really good trade for them,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “Bringing in a guy like Serge Ibaka; a defender, a four-man that can switch out on guards. A guy that can space the floor, shoot the 3.  So that was a good addition. I’m excited to see how that’s gonna work other than tomorrow.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was also impressed with the Ibaka trade.

“That’s an improvement; there’s no question about it,” Stevens said. “Now you can play a number of different ways. He’s a really good player; he’s very agile. He’s a very good shooter. You can play him or (Patrick) Patterson at the four (power forward) the entire game now. You can play them together as a small-ball four and five (center). It gives them a lot of options on offense and defense.”

While praise for Ibaka is nothing new, you have to remember there were reasons as to why the Magic decided to give up on him so quickly, something even more hard to understand considering the assets they gave up (Victor Olidipo and a 2016 first-round pick used to select Domantas Sabonis, among others) to acquire him.

The Magic decided that they would not be in the running to re-sign Ibaka when he hits the free agent market this summer; this coming after the Thunder traded him primarily because they did not plan on giving him the near-max contract he’ll be seeking. So rather than play out this season and lose him for nothing, the Magic decided to trade him while they still could get something (Terrence Ross) in return.

While in Orlando, Ibaka averaged a career-high 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game. For his career (all prior to this season spent in Oklahoma City), he’s averaging 11.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

But he never seemed to provide the kind of impactful, difference-making play that Orlando was seeking.

And while the Celtics speak highly of Ibaka, he hasn’t been much of a problem for the Celtics this season.

In two games against Boston, Ibaka has averaged 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Jae Crowder believes the struggles Ibaka has endured against the Celtics, are not a clear reflection of what he’s capable of doing as a player.

“For sure it makes them better,” said Crowder in describing the Raptors with Ibaka. “He’s a guy that can stretch the floor and rebound at a high rate. We know what he brings to the table.”

And those struggles we saw of him with the Magic?

“I think it was him more so than us,” Crowder said. “I give him credit because he wasn’t playing with the energy and passion he usually brings. I’ve been able to line up against him a quite a few times.  He didn’t have that passion like he did when he was in O-K-C (Oklahoma City). Maybe he’ll have it now. I know exactly what he’s capable of doing; he’s capable of changing the game with his play.”