Allen moving on after tough outing in Philly


Allen moving on after tough outing in Philly

PHILADELPHIA Throughout Ray Allen's brilliant career, we have seen him do some pretty amazing, hard-to-forget things on the basketball court.

But for one night, Allen had the kind of night that Celtics Nation and Allen himself would just as soon forget about quickly.

While Wednesday's 32-point loss at Philadelphia was indeed a team-wide pummeling on every level imaginable, few had it as rough as the C's sharpshooter.

Allen only had two points on the night, which included him missing all five of his shots from the field.

It was only the seventh time in Allen's career (his fourth with the C's) that he went without a made basket in a game.

"I don't think I was ever in the flow of the offense," Allen said. "Offensively, we just didn't have a flow. I was just a victim of a bad offensive flow."

Even when the C's have had nights with a good flow offensively, it hasn't always included Allen's firepower from the perimeter.

It's no secret that he remains near the top of most scouting reports on the Celtics. The result has been a lot of games in which he rarely touches the ball, but that doesn't mean he's not involved.

In the C's win over the New York Knicks on Sunday, they were determined to make sure someone stayed with him, stride for stride, all game. So that led to him being more of a screen-setter, doing the kind of things that others have for years done to free him up.

Allen understands doing those little things, is part of what he has to do to help the team win if the defense prevents him from getting good, clean looks at the basket.

"Some teams, I don't know if you want to say box-and-one, but they do whatever they can to just commit one guy to me and don't allow him to help," Allen said. "I've seen it. It seems frustrating at times, but I have faith in my guys to get it done."

While Allen is certainly disappointed in not making a single basket against the Sixers, he's not about to over-react to the situation, either.

Allen's play has been instrumental in Boston's post-All Star break success.

His numbers (17.5 points, 51.1 percent shooting from the field) following the break and leading into Wednesday's game, have been impressive.

That's why he and the Celtics are chalking up what happened against the Sixers as just one of those nights when nothing goes right.

"I'll just continue doing what I do," Allen said. "I'll prepare the same. When you find your spots, you have to take advantage of them."

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins' third line has been reborn under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, and the players are now openly admitting they desperately needed a change.

Claude Julien never trusted Frank Vatrano, Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes enough defensively to play them together, but this line has blossomed under Cassidy: Six goals, 15 points and a plus-11 in seven games. They’ve survived in the defensive zone by rarely playing there. Instead, they push the pace, make plays to keep the puck out of the D-zone and, most importantly, keep producing the secondary offense that wasn’t there in the first 55 games of the season. 

No one has been freed from the shackles more than Spooner, who is back playing his natural center position after being forced to play left wing under Julien. The 25-year-old said Tuesday that getting a clean slate with a new coach has been extremely beneficial to him, and that perhaps he didn't always love playing for the guy now minding the bench in Montreal. 

“I felt like the last coach ... he just didn’t really trust me,” said Spooner, who has two goals and six points along with a plus-1 rating in seven games post-Julien. “It might've been kind of on me not really playing to the potential that I have, but at the same time . . . I just don’t think that he really liked me as a player. It’s kind of in the past now. It’s just a part of the game. It’s up to me to just go out there and just play, and not have that stuff in the back of my mind. 

“I just kind of have to go out there and believe in myself and I think at times I wasn’t really going out there and doing that. Maybe that’s something to learn. This sport has ups and downs, and I’ve had my downs. You learn that you can just sort of push through it. If you do that then things can be good.”

Spooner has 10 goals and 33 points along with a minus-3 this season, and could potentially surpass last year's numbers (13-36-49) in his second full season. 

Most felt that the speedy, skilled Spooner would be one of the big beneficiaries of the move from Julien to Cassidy, and now he’s showing that with a new lease on life in Boston. 

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while it’s all happening around the NHL world ahead of tomorrow’s NHL trade deadline.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Eric Engels says that a torturous February shows that nothing will come easy for the Montreal Canadiens.

*Some raw locker room video from the Florida Panthers with local D-man Keith Yandle holding court with reporters.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has some early thoughts, and some praise, for the Washington Capitals landing puck-moving D-man and big ticket rental player Kevin Shattenkirk.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs up their playoff cred by landing gritty, big third-line center Brian Boyle ahead of the trade deadline.

*Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are the city of Chicago’s longest-tenured teammates having spent the last 12 years together with the Blackhawks.

*Patrice Bergeron and Toucher and Rich are getting together for their 10th annual Cuts for a Cause, which will be on March 27.

*For something completely different: Jimmy Kimmel gives his perspective of the debacle that went down at the end of the Academy Awards on Sunday night.