Allen, Pietrus out tonight vs. Knicks

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Allen, Pietrus out tonight vs. Knicks

NEW YORK The Boston Celtics will once again experience life without Ray Allen, whose right ankle injury apparently hasn't healed as well as believed.

Allen went through shoot-around this morning, and seemed fine. But C's coach Doc Rivers got the news afterward that Allen's ankle problems would keep him out of the C's lineup once again.

"As far as the movement, the mobility from the morning, it wasn't to my liking," said Allen, who will miss his 15th game in the last 16 played by the C's.

Allen's injury has been disappointing from the start. But now it's starting to trend towards frustration.

"I was excited about coming in, feeling that lift and spring again," Allen said. "But for some reason, it wasn't there. That's the disappointment that it lingers towards frustration. I've been doing what I need to do to get back. I guess my ankle is saying, 'I'm not ready yet,' I gotta take more time."

Rivers had already implemented the inclusion of Allen in his game plan for tonight's game, only to find out upon arriving at Madison Square Garden that Allen would not play.

"I got here and got the Grim Reaper (Eddie Lacerte, the C's team trainer) - that's what we call Eddie when he comes in. And he gave me the news. Just roll with it, and we'll see tomorrow."

That was just the beginning of the bad news for Boston.

Mickael Pietrus watched shoot-around this morning, but was sent back to Boston to have his knee examined. His status for Wednesday's game against Orlando is unclear.

Rivers believes his problem has more to do with the schedule being so packed with games.

"You kind of forget that he's been out so long," Rivers said. "And then we kind of threw him back in the fire. I probably errored there, too. Three games in a row for him, his knee swelled up so we sent him back home right away."

Pietrus suffered a concussion on March 23 which forced him to miss the C's next 10 games. He returned on April 11 against Atlanta and appeared in the next four games which included the Celtics' only set of back-to-back-to-back games this season.

It is unclear when either player will return to the lineup. But as has been the case with guys getting hurt all season, there will not be any plans to rush anyone back - especially with the playoffs just a couple weeks away.

"At the end of the day, we need everyone for the playoffs," Rivers said.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."

Blakely: Jae Crowder is more than 'just another guy' on Celtics

Blakely: Jae Crowder is more than 'just another guy' on Celtics

As the NBA trade deadline gets closer and closer, A. Sherrod Blakely helps shed some light as to why the Boston Celtics may be unwilling to part ways with Jae Crowder