Mike from Attleboro: Hope you wither in the Heat, Ray

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Mike from Attleboro: Hope you wither in the Heat, Ray

For five years I would watch the Celtics and hope that this wasnt the year that Ray Allen gets old. Now I hope he ages faster than a German drinking from an imitation Holy Grail.

That is how quickly and completely he threw away the good will he compiled in his five seasons with the Celtics. There is no other way to describe what Ray Allen has done since the C's were ushered out of the playoffs in seven games by the Miami Heat. Remember how everyone thought Ray was just classy in defeat when he got all chummy with the Heat after the final whistle? Months later we realize it was all just convenient networking being done by an aging star who is too butt hurt to realize what his role is and that he isnt the same player he once was.

And come to think of it, was he ever really the player we thought he was in Boston?

You can call me bitter and my recollections revisionist, but I remember the Cs title run in 2008 having a heck of a lot more to do with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce than it did with Ray. In fact, I seem to recall Ray struggling mightily through the first two rounds of that postseason. It was so bad that even notorious Celtics rump swab and NBA expert Bill Simmons proposed renaming the Big Three to the Big Two featuring Ray Allen. To me, James Posey, Kendrick Perkins and even Rajon Rondo were more pivotal to that title run than Ray Allen, who, for those first two rounds, was lucky to avoid a copyright infringement claim by New England BrickMaster. When you get right down to the reality of that championship, Rays most important contribution to that team was being on it so KG would okay the trade from Minnesota. Come playoff time, Ray Allen was a supplementary player whose early shooting funk extended two series to seven games.

And, yes, I am bitter.

Look, Ill be completely objective. Ray Allen, when healthy and not out of rhythm, is the gold standard of NBA shooting. He has a stroke so pure its like a product of basketball reverse osmosis. And when you hear about all the shooting he does in practice and pregame, it makes sense that sometimes he looks like the living embodiment of NBA JAMs en fuego.

Unfortunately for Ray, his comments regarding his departure from Boston to Miami makes you wonder if he hasnt been stuck in Big Head mode for his entire career.

Everyone with half-a-brain knows why Ray Allen left to play for the Heat. He felt disrespected when he lost his job to Avery Bradley and he wants to win a title with Miami to stick it to Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge. And Id be fine with that if Ray just came out and said it. The revisionist history regarding his departure is staggeringly delusional. Over the course of his career, nobody paid Ray Allen more than Boston. The Celtics offered Ray more than twice the money Miami did in free agency. In Boston, Ray would actually be a legitimate part of the rotation, as opposed to being a sentimental jump-shooting mascot in Miami. If Ray finished his career in Boston, he would always be a part of the Celtics championship fraternity and revered by Cs fans. In Miami, Ray Allen is just the latest momentary distraction, like a reality TV star.

Ultimately, Honey Boo Hoo can cry all he wants about Boston not wanting him. But the fact of the matter is that Ray is in Miami because he wants to prove Doc and Danny wrong and, at 37, he needs LeBron, Wade and Bosh to do it.

Even if Allen was completely honest about it, hed still get most of the vicious booing he will receive when the Heat come to the Garden. You cant just jump ship mid-feud to your chief conference rival and not expect major, Lohan-esque PR damage. Compare Rays departure with that of another former Boston player with a Jesus association. Johnny Damon singlehandedly crushed the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. Then in 2005 Johnny Damon left for more money with the Yankees. When he left town, he was honest and made it clear it was about money, nothing else. The booing Damon got upon his return to Fenway was raw and savage. What do you think is going to happen to a red-and-black clad Ray Ray?

Its a shame it played out this way. Its a shame that an aging Hall of Famer allowed pride to influence the way he ended his career. Instead of re-signing with Boston and joining the ranks of green legends, Ray Allen chose to play for the Heat out of petty anger and spite.

He chose poorly.

Thomas excited for reunion with Green

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Thomas excited for reunion with Green

WALTHAM, Mass. -- When the phone rang this summer, Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas had to do a double-take when he saw the name on the caller ID.

It was Gerald Green, his ex-teammate in Phoenix.

Although they only shared a locker room for 45 games in Phoenix, the two became quick friends.

On the court they developed instant chemistry while coming off the Suns bench. And that bond spilled off the court as Green would later spend time with Thomas in the Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. area in the summer months.

They were cool with each other, cool enough to where Thomas knew it wasn’t in Green’s nature to pick up the phone and call just to say hi.

“Gerald doesn’t call anybody,” Thomas said. “When he called I knew something was up.”

Green said Boston, the team that drafted him in 2006 straight out of high school, was interested in bringing him back for a second stint with the club.

“I tried to put my two cents in and he got here,” Thomas said.

There were several factors that led Green back to Boston, with a chance to reunite with Thomas being high on that list.

Green, already in Phoenix at the time the Suns signed Thomas in 2014, was impressed with the way the 5-9 guard carried himself.

“He was a genuine guy, came in really humble,” Green said. “I saw the talent was there. I knew he had the potential to be one of the best point guards in this league.”

Thomas certainly made a case for such lofty praise with how he performed last season, good enough to earn his first all-star selection.

What really stuck out to Green was that Thomas’ mentality and approach to the game was almost a carbon copy of his own.

“When we stepped on the court we had the same mentality,” Green said. “By any means necessary, get a bucket and play harder than the next team; just try and push the first team, make the first team better every day.”

Thomas was coming off the bench, showing lots of potential and promise that he could carry a heavier load if given an opportunity to do so.

He averaged 15.2 points, 3.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 25.7 minutes off the Suns bench in 46 games. Even more significant was that when Thomas did play for the Suns, they were 26-20.

In the games without him, they were just 13-23.

Green was admittedly disappointed they traded away Thomas, believing that season would have had a very different outcome had they not sent him to Boston.

And just like Green recognized Thomas’ skills and how much his team could have benefited from keeping him around, Thomas speaks in glowing terms about Green and what his return to Boston means for the team.

“We needed someone like him; a guy that could shoot the ball, a guy that could space the floor; instant scorer whether he starts or comes off the bench,” Thomas said. “Where the he starts or come off the bench. He’s going to really help us.”

Green has big game as Bengals dominate Dolphins 22-7

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Green has big game as Bengals dominate Dolphins 22-7

CINCINNATI -- For most of the game, A.J. Green piled up more yards than the entire Miami Dolphins offense in a virtuoso performance. As an encore, he thrilled the crowd by juggling some Florida citrus.

The Bengals receiver followed his disappointing game with a dominating one - 173 yards and a touchdown - and a Cincinnati defense that was inspired by Vontaze Burfict's return clamped down on the Dolphins for a 22-7 victory Thursday night.

The Bengals (2-2) rebounded from a 29-17 home loss to Denver on Sunday with a solid all-around game against a depleted team.

Green led the way, beating the Dolphins (1-3) on every type of route . He was upset with himself after he dropped a pivotal third-down pass and failed to make an impact against the Broncos.

"I hold myself to a very high standard," said Green, who had 10 catches. "I know what I'm capable of. Last week I didn't perform to that level. I had to refocus on a short week."

During the first three quarters, Green had 166 yards on catches while Miami had 152 total yards. The Bengals' season-long problem of stalling out near the goal line forced them to settle for Mike Nugent's season-high five field goals.

Afterward, Green and Andy Dalton appeared on the postgame show, and the receiver entertained the dozens of Bengals fans who stayed around by smoothly juggling three oranges at the interview desk.

"Any time he was one-on-one, he was able to make the play," Dalton said.

The Dolphins were missing four starting offensive linemen, two linebackers, running back Arian Foster and tight end Jordan Cameron. They had one big play - Ryan Tannehill threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills - but couldn't do anything else on offense.

"We've got to get it fixed and quick, and by that I mean Monday," Tannehill said. "We're kind of in a dark spot right now. It's squarely on our shoulders."

The Bengals' defense expected to get a lift from Burfict's return. The volatile linebacker was suspended by the NFL for the first three games because of his illegal hits. He got a loud ovation when he ran onto the field during introductions wearing a baseball cap. Burfict knocked down a pass and had three tackles.

"He's amazing," end Carlos Dunlap said. "Did you see the plays he made? Those aren't plays you can coach. He came off his couch and played great. It's good to have him back."

Mostly, it was Green's show. He caught a 51-yard pass off Dalton's scramble in the first half, and had a 43-yard catch that set up another field goal in the third quarter for a 19-7 lead.

REMEMBERING FERNANDEZ

A large fan banner in the upper deck at Paul Brown Stadium honored Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died with two friends in a boat crash early Sunday near Miami Beach. The banner read: "Jose 16 Heaven's Bright."

STILL CAN'T RUN

The Bengals rushed for 77 yards and only a 2.1-yard average against the second-worst run defense in the league, one missing two starting linebackers.

SLOPPY DOLPHINS

Miami had seven penalties for 68 yards. The most egregious was by Terrence Fede, who pushed Kevin Huber to the ground after he punted in the third quarter. The penalty gave Cincinnati the ball, and the Bengals got a field goal out of it.

INJURIES

Dolphins: LT Branden Albert and C Anthony Steen were inactive with sprained ankles. Also missing were LBs Koa Misi (neck) and Jelani Jenkins (groin). C Mike Pouncey has missed all four games with a hip injury.

Bengals: TE Tyler Eifert was inactive again, contributing to the Bengals' trouble close to the goal line. He's recovering from offseason ankle surgery and returned to practice on a limited basis last week. CB Dre Kirkpatrick was inactive with a hamstring injury suffered Sunday. G Clint Boling sat out most of the fourth quarter with an injured left shoulder.

ANTHEM STATEMENTS

Stills and Dolphins safety Michael Thomas knelt with their hands over their hearts during the anthem.

FANTASY IMPACT

Tannehill was 15 of 25 for 189 yards with a touchdown, an interception, a fumble and five sacks. Dalton was 22 of 31 for 296 yards with a touchdown and a sack.

UP NEXT

The Dolphins begin a stretch of four straight home games against Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and the New York Jets.

The Bengals have a tough two-game stretch, playing Dallas and New England on the road. They're 1-5 in Dallas, dropping their last three. They've dropped their last six at New England, last winning in 1986.