Allen: 'Definitely won't rule myself out for Monday'

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Allen: 'Definitely won't rule myself out for Monday'

WASHINGTON A left ankle injury suffered in the second quarter of Boston's 100-94 win over Washington was able to do what the Wizards defense couldn't - slow Ray Allen down.

Allen, who has had multiple ankle injuries throughout his career, was unable to play in the second half and isn't sure if he'll suit up for Monday's game against Orlando.

"I definitely won't rule myself out," Allen said. "Tomorrow's a new day. I always like to think I'm in the lineup, no matter what. I work my body it has done great things, miraculous things for me over the past. That's why I take care of it. Tomorrow, sleep, get rest and heal up for tomorrow."

Ankle injuries are not foreign to Allen. Prior to arriving in Boston, Allen had surgery on both ankles during the 2006-2007 season.

Since then, he has had nothing more than an occasional ankle sprain.

"Having surgeries on my ankles in the past, I've been blessed that they've been good," Allen said. "That's why managing, taking care of my body is important."

Without Allen, look for the Celtics to go with Mickael Pietrus who continues to provide a lift at both ends of the floor for Boston off the bench.

On Sunday, Pietrus finished with 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. He was also 2-for-4 from 3-point range, the kind of performance they needed after a six-point performance in Boston's 79-71 loss to Phoenix on Friday.

In that game, C's coach Doc Rivers thought Pietrus at times wasn't as aggressive as they need him to be.

That wasn't a problem against the Wizards, with Pietrus scoring not only from the perimeter but also looking to take advantage of Washington's "small ball" lineup that matched him up at times with a smaller player.

Rivers said Pietrus' play was among the many positive performances the C's can take from Sunday's win.

"When you have Ray Allen and (Rajon) Rondo off the floor (because of injuries)," Rivers said, "you're searching and I thought our guys did a great job."

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

BOSTON — Sonny Gray is not what the Red Sox need.

As of Monday, the power rankings of their trade targets should go as such: 1. Third baseman 2. Reliever 3. Back-end starter.

When he was addressing the addition of Doug Fister three days ago, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski noted that a premier starter is not what he lacks.

“Unlike maybe some other clubs, I don't believe that we need to add a top-of-the-rotation-type starter,” Dombrowski said. “We have [Chris] Sale. I think David Price continues to make strides to come back. His stuff is good he's just got to get back. [Drew] Pomeranz has thrown well for us. [Eduardo] Rodriguez has thrown well. We know Rick Porcello is a good pitcher.

“So we're not, maybe other clubs are looking for that No. 1, No. 2 type starter. That's not really important for us. I think it's more important to be in a position where we add depth for us, somebody that can help us win major league games if needed.”

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan on Monday reported that the Red Sox “have quietly sent some of their most respected evaluators to his last two starts. This could fall under standard due diligence, but one source familiar with their intentions said the Red Sox are keen for Gray – and when president Dave Dombrowski targets a player, the price for other teams jumps accordingly.” 

Due diligence is indeed all the Red Sox are up to, a baseball source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told CSNNE.com on Monday.

The Red Sox’ trade chips are limited, if they don’t want to drastically diminish their farm system. Gray is very close with David Price, but Gray's 4.45 ERA isn’t inspiring. He has a 3.60 FIP — fielding independent pitching — and has great talent. But again, he doesn’t play the hot corner.

Offense on a whole is a greater need. The Sox entered Monday with the third lowest slugging percentage in the AL. Hanley Ramirez is now battling some left knee pain as well as his shoulder issue, after he took a pitch off the knee Sunday.

It’s warmed up, but the Sox power bats have not also warmed up.

“I wouldn’t hinge this all on just temperature,” manager John Farrell said Monday. “And I don’t know that we use that as an excuse prior. . . Over the last three or four weeks, it’s kind of stagnated a little bit. I think the biggest thing for us as a group is to still maintain a consistent approach at the plate. When we think about getting too much muscle in a swing, eventually the strike zone expands, you don’t get the pitch that you’re looking for. We can’t afford to maybe go away from that approach for the sake of maybe trying to drive the ball with greater consistency.”

Tzu-Wei Lin was starting for the Sox on Monday, yet another in the third-base carousel. Jhonny Peralta and Pablo Sandoval (rehab assignment) are going to alternate time at third base starting Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. 

That’s where they need help.

The bullpen can’t be overlooked either. Carson Smith started a throwing program again Monday, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return, or at what effectiveness.

Mike Giardi: People in Paul George's camp think Celtics are a great fit

Mike Giardi: People in Paul George's camp think Celtics are a great fit

Mike Giardi reports that there are some people in Paul George's camp that think the Boston Celtics would be a great fit, both short and long-term.

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