Allen attributes ankle problems to calves

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Allen attributes ankle problems to calves

BOSTON -- Ray Allen has missed more than 10 games this season due to right and left ankle injuries. As the Boston Celtics look ahead to their playoff push, health is of the utmost importance to the 16-year veteran guard.

In order to maintain his ankles, Allen, who has sat out the past four games with a sore right ankle, is paying extra attention to another part of his body: his calves.

He attributes some of his ankle problems over the years to his over-sized muscles. Allen underwent double ankle surgery in 2007.

"Ive been told that I have huge calf muscles my whole life," Allen, 36, said earlier this month. "But theyre always like the bane of my pain, of my existence, because I always feel tightness in there. When they do get tight, it keeps my ankles from moving."

Allen missed three games in January with a jammed left ankle. He suffered a sore right ankle in March after slipping on a wet spot in a game against the Clippers in Los Angeles. Allen played through the injury and has been limited since then. He missed six games from March 23 through April 1 and returned for five games (four off the bench), but has not played since April 10.

In order to increase flexibility and stability in his ankles, Allen wears Phiten titanium discs on both calves and, as of late, Kinesio tape on his right calf during games. He has also become more aggressive stretching his calves before he plays.

"One thing weve been working on is getting them loose so they dont keep my ankles from moving and being able to develop those muscles down there," Allen said. "When Im running around and my muscles arent working, I have more of a tendency to roll it."

Allen is averaging 14.2 points (45.8 FG, 45.3 3PG), 3.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists this season. Second-year guard Avery Bradley has started at the shooting guard spot in 13 of the last 14 games.

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

BOSTON - David Ortiz may be masterful in the clutch and one of the more charitable athletes in the city, but much like anyone else, Big Papi doesn’t always inform his own Papi of news right away -- even if he plans to announce it to the general public.

“He actually didn’t tell me [that he planned to announce his retirement],” Enrique Ortiz, David’s father, said through a Red Sox’ translator on Saturday before the next-to-last regular-season game. “I was in the Dominican Republic when he announced it in the states.

While Enrique would explain -- humbly -- how proud he was of his son, he’s not so sure announcing his retirement before the season was the correct move.

“If I was [in America], I would have told him not to announce his retirement,” the elder Ortiz explained, “just because there’s so many things that can happen in a season. Or you might have a change of heart after the season.

“If I were here I would have told him to stay neutral so his options were more open. So I wouldn’t have told him to retire.”

Although dad wasn’t on board with his son’s announcement, he’s done what any good parent does -- bite their tongue and let things play out.

“I haven’t told him anything about why he's retiring because I know it’s coming from him and it’s his decision,” Enrique said. “But when I look back to 2013, I remember coming here and I see him with what looks like two cats on his feet. And I’m like ‘What happened to my boy? Did he get into an accident or something?’ And what he told me was, ‘This is how you son is making this money, doing all of this stuff before a game.’ So [him retiring] is not a surprise to me.”

Avery Bradley hopes to take next step on D: Defensive Player of the Year

Avery Bradley hopes to take next step on D: Defensive Player of the Year

WALTHAM, Mass. – Prior to Friday night’s Green and White Scrimmage, Celtics coach Brad Stevens made a point of having Avery Bradley honored for being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team.
 
It was a good feeling and an award that Bradley is extremely proud of accomplishing.
 
But he wants more.
 
First-team All-Defense is nice.
 
Defensive Player of the Year?
 
Even better.
 
Prior to Saturday’s practice, Bradley’s case for being in contention for such a lofty award stems from him consistently being among the better perimeter defenders in the NBA.
 
On most game nights, Bradley is usually assigned whichever guard is the more potent scorer.
 
And in that role, Bradley has been able to establish himself as one of the toughest matchups players will face from a defender, all season.

But as good as Bradley may be as an individual defender, he knows any praise or accolades for what he does has to come with the knowledge that his teammates have also elevated their play defensively, too.
 
“Like I said, it’s hand-in-hand with how you play as an individual and your team success,” Bradley said. “How far we can go this year, hopefully I can show and the rest of my teammates can show how good we are on defense.”
 
One of the reasons Bradley was able to garner enough votes to be named to the league’s First-team defense, is due to the ringing endorsements he received from various players throughout the league.
 
Two of Bradley’s biggest supporters are Portland’s explosive backcourt tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

After Boston’s 116-109 loss at Portland on March 31, McCollum tweeted out that Avery Bradley was “the best perimeter defender in the league” and added, “I don’t think it’s close.”
 
In Boston’s loss to Portland, Lillard had 14 points on 3-for-16 shooting while McCollum had 17 points on 8-for-19 shooting.
 
“Hopefully the entire NBA can believe that I’m one of the best defenders,” Bradley said.