Allen not sure what to expect during season opener


Allen not sure what to expect during season opener

MIAMI Ray Allen has no idea what to expect when he steps on the floor Tuesday night and watches the Celtics (his former team), watch the Heat (his new team) receive their championship rings.

"You always have so many different types of emotions when the season starts," Allen said. "Obviously for me, it's so many different ones. I'm excited for these guys having spent time around them over the last two, three months, getting to know them and their families. I'm happy for them that they won, but at the same time they beat me and put us (Celtics) out. I understand the emotions that Boston will feel watching the ceremony but at the same time I'm excited for these guys."

Yes, even as he embraces his new role with the Miami Heat, you get the sense that Tuesday night's ring ceremony and the game that follows will serve as closer for both the C's and Allen's departure from Boston.

Once Miami has their championship rings, that will in many ways reinforce Allen's decision to walk away from twice as much money to stay in Boston for a similar role off the Heat's bench.

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Both teams want to win in order to get their seasons off on the right foot. But it's clear in hearing players for both teams that the Heat just might be using the C's cold shoulder treatment toward Allen as added incentive.

"We want to win for him in a sense," Dwyane Wade said of Allen. "But we know it's the first game of the season."

Kevin Garnett has said little about Allen since he signed with the Heat. And in typical KG fashion, he kept with that on Monday.

When asked multiple questions about Allen, Garnett's response was succinct.

"I'm going to play the game and get the hell up out of here," he said. "Period. Point blank."

The chilly reception that Allen has had from his former teammates has not been all that surprising to him.

"It's nothing personal," Allen said. "You want to beat the other team. Anybody that's not on the Celtics team, it's always frosty. You don't like the other opponent."

Even if that's a player like Allen who on several occasions during his time in Boston, was referred to as a brother.

There are plenty of emotions that are running high these days between all involved -- but brotherly love ain't one of them.

Allen wants to win just as badly as his former Celtic teammates, but he was quick to squash that there's some lingering beef between him and the C's.

"These guys are my friends," Allen said. "You guys think that I have some type of animosity or bad blood against them; I don't. I've said it time and time again, we've shared probably the most special thing you can do in sports going all the way to the top. That's always going to be number one closest to my heart. When I see Paul, I'm not going to be angry at him or anybody else. I'm happy. I'm excited. I look forward to seeing all these guys."

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

As expected, Marcus Smart will get the start for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas, who leads the Celtics (12-9) in scoring (26.0) and assists (6.2) this season, suffered a right groin injury in Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday.

Head coach Brad Stevens explained his decision a few minutes ago.

“He’s started a lot of games here in the past as a point guard,” Stevens told reporters. “He’s basically our sixth starter. It wasn’t one that I had to think a ton about.”

Starting Smart also allows second-year guard Terry Rozier to continue in his role coming off the bench. 

Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Smart’s production has been consistent. 

In the five games he has started this season, he has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 

His numbers off the bench are almost identical with Smart averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a reserve. 

Stevens also mentioned that Amir Johnson would be back in the starting lineup in place of Jonas Jerebko. Earlier in the day, Stevens told reporters the decision to start Jerebko on Monday was strictly because of the matchup with Houston. 

“We have to be able to be flexible in doing that,” Stevens said. “Houston plays four guards. We didn’t feel like we could defend them unless we switch one through four. I thought he (Jerebko) did a pretty good job. This (Orlando) team is different than Houston other than both are super-hot.”

Orlando (10-12) has won four of its last five games in part because of its size, strength and versatility along the frontline which includes Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic who now comes off the bench. 

And while the Celtics have benefited heavily from the play of their guards, obviously that plan will be amended tonight with Thomas out. 

“He (Thomas) generates a lot in the open offense what we call flow, spread offense,” Stevens said. “So some of those type of things you may not generate at the same rate. But certainly there are other ways that we’ll look to play when he’s not in the game normally, or when we’re trying to play through bigs in the post. You have different ways to play within all your schemes. Hopefully we can play to each other’s strengths and go from there.”