Opponents: Celtics are 'missing Ray'

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Opponents: Celtics are 'missing Ray'

The Boston Celtics had little interest in discussing former teammate Ray Allen at the start of this season. Some players politely wished him the best after he signed with the Miami Heat last summer. Kevin Garnett noted he no longer had Allens phone number. Rajon Rondo referred to him as Number 20.
Allen will return to the TD Garden on Sunday for the first time as a member of the Heat. He will face a Celtics team struggling to establish consistency and currently ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference (20-21).
Even though the Celtics have focused on looking forward this season, opponents have noticed a difference in the team without Allen on the floor:
Rip Hamilton (Chicago Bulls)Theyre different. When you go into the game, you know with him, hes coming off curls, hes coming off pindowns. He really spaces the floor for Paul Pierce to go ahead and to what he do, for KG Kevin Garnett to do what he do. It was a guy that you never ever could not guard.
Ramon Sessions (Charlotte Bobcats)You can definitely tell they look different. They just play a little different without him out there. When he comes in, he kind of solidifies that second unit. I think they brought in JT Jason Terry to fill that role. He kind of started off to a slow start but I think once it gets deeper into the season, being a veteran, hell kind of take over that role. You definitely defend them differently any time Rays not out on the court because Ray is a pure shooter and they ran a lot of sets for him with that second unit. Its definitely a different vibe and a different feel with that second unit now that hes not out there. They still play the same way, I think. Of course in the back of their minds, they probably miss him a little bit because hes a guy that can hit big shots. But I think JT will step in and fill that void.
Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls)Its going to be difficult. Ray Allen takes so much attention and he gets guys shots. He made a big difference for them. You could always replace everyone. Its just, how do you do it? Its not going to be one guy. Dont think that youre going to bring one guy in and hes going to just fill in the shoes. It takes a team effort and a team goes in a different direction, whether its Paul Pierce or Kevin or Rajon Rondo who are scoring more. I think people fall into, This guys gone, so this guy has to be that guy. Its never like that. Every individual is different. Thats why every time you get a superstar in the NBA, people want to compare the new player to him and its never the same because everyone is so different, our fingerprints are different. Youre just not going to get the same thing.
Marcin Gortat (Phoenix Suns)Obviously theyre missing their sharpshooter, but still, theyve got so much talent. Theyve got so many guys that can shoot the ball, they still run a great system, theyve still got KG whos running the whole defense, they have Rajon Rondo who can distribute the ball so well. So I dont think theres a huge drop off from Ray Allen. Obviously the team would be better if he would have stayed, but right now theyre still pretty good.
Tony Allen (Memphis Grizzlies)Thats a Hall of Fame kind of guy. So that right there just lets you know, theyre missing Ray. Period, point blank. Theyre missing Ray.

Ainge: 'This offseason is bigger' than others for Celtics

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Ainge: 'This offseason is bigger' than others for Celtics

WALTHAM, Mass. – There was very little sizzle in the moves made by Boston during last season, one in which they were hoping would be a summer full of basketball fireworks.

Well the bar is once again set relatively high for the Celtics this offseason, one in which the chances of making an impact, fireworks-worthy deal appear to be even better now than they were a year ago.

The Celtics have Brooklyn’s first-round pick in next month’s draft that has a 15.6 percent chance of being the top overall selection, and will be no worse than the sixth overall pick.

That’s just the first of eight picks for the Celtics in next month’s draft.

Boston has the potential to shed enough salary to offer a pair of near-max contracts to free agents this summer.

“We look forward to every offseason,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “This offseason is bigger. My expectations are high this offseason. And yet I also know that it takes good fortune.”

There’s the NBA draft lottery later this month.

“We need some ping-pong balls to bounce our way, give us the best opportunity,” Ainge said.

The Celtics own Brooklyn’s first-round pick courtesy of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade with Brooklyn in 2013. That pick will be no worse than the sixth overall selection this season but has a 15.6 percent chance of being the top overall selection.

“Whether we use that pick, trade that pick and … in free agency we have opportunities. That’s all we have,” Ainge said. “We have no guarantees of great things happening. We have a lot of hope. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have to have Plan A through Z; usually it’s A through G.”

Tonight's lineups: Red Sox at White Sox

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Tonight's lineups: Red Sox at White Sox

The Red Sox face a left-hander -- Carlos Rondon, in this case -- for the second night in a row as they play the middle game of their three-night series in Chicago against the White Sox.

The lineups:

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Travis Shaw 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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Clay Buchholz P

WHITE SOX:
Adam Eaton RF
Jimmy Rollins SS
Jose Abreu 1B
Todd Frazier 3B
Melky Cabrera LF
Brett Lawrie 2B
Jerry Sands DH
Dioner Navarro C
Austin Jackson CF
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Carlos Rondon P

Olynyk still mulling over options regarding shoulder

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Olynyk still mulling over options regarding shoulder

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Boston Celtics should know soon as to whether Kelly Olynyk will have surgery on his right shoulder which limited his effectiveness this past regular season and for most of the Boston’s postseason.

“Kelly is still deciding what to do with our medical staff, with the opinions he’s received,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operation. We should know in the next week or so. Surgery is an option; it is being discussed. But he’ll make that decision soon.”

The 7-foot Olynyk initially suffered a right shoulder injury on Feb. 10 against the Los Angeles Clippers in what was the last game before the all-star break.

Olynyk remained limited due to the injury which led to him missing 12 regular season games. He re-aggravated the injury in Game 1 of their first round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

In addition to the 12 regular season games missed due to the injury, Olynyk found himself on the bench for a pair of games during the Hawks series.

Prior to Game 6, Olynyk spoke with CSNNE.com about how much better he was feeling leading into that game compared to previous ones.

But that good vibe did not translate into on-the-court success as Olynyk was scoreless while missing both of his field goal attempts in just over five minutes.

This past season, Olynyk averaged 10 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 40.5 percent on 3s.  But during the six-game series with Atlanta, Olynyk scored just two points on 1-for-9 shooting.

Ainge was much more definitive on the health status of Avery Bradley (hamstring) and Jae Crowder (foot).

Bradley’s hamstring injury should be healed in plenty of time for the start of training camp and will not require any offseason surgery.

Crowder, whom Ainge said suffered from a bone bruise in his foot, should also be good to go for training camp next fall and like Bradley, will not require any offseason surgery.