Allen back in lineup tonight vs. Knicks

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Allen back in lineup tonight vs. Knicks

NEW YORK The Celtics are about as whole as they'll ever be with Ray Allen returning to the lineup tonight against the New York Knicks.

Allen has missed the last four games with swelling in his right ankle, the same injury that sidelined him for six games earlier this season.

While Allen was out, head coach Doc Rivers said on more than one occasion that if it were a playoff game, Allen likely would have been able to play.

"There were times when I thought that," Allen said. "And probably still give it a go. But there were days when I just couldn't (play) just based on the lack of mobility and the swelling that I had in it."

He added, "It sounds good to say I would have went, because I would have tried to go. Just with what I would have been able to do, it wouldn't have been smart if I went."

The fact that he re-injured the ankle twice in a short period of time, and given his history of ankle surgeries, questions were raised as to whether he was dealing with an injury more serious than ankle swelling.

However, Allen said MRI results showed no structural damage.

The injury taking longer to heal, he said, was more of a function of him playing on it longer than he should have in addition to trying to come back too soon.

"It just never had a chance to heal," Allen said. "Once I turned it twice within two games, I was just on it. The way I run, going up and down, I just never gave it a chance to go away (the swelling). I want to play and I want to test my body, but certain times you just have to give it a chance (to heal)."

While Allen's return is certainly welcomed, there's no guarantee that a game or two from now he won't have to deal with the same injury.

However, having the long layoff provides a much better chance that the swelling in the ankle won't be an issue anytime soon.

"I was making sure I took every precaution, moving forward," Allen said.

His return has been one his teammates have been looking forward to, even if it may come at the expense of them losing some minutes on the floor.

"We're a family, always pulling for one another, so that's the first thing," C's guard Avery Bradley told CSNNE.com recently. "And we're so much better a team when he's with us. For us, we need everybody healthy, playing their game, to have a good run in the playoffs."

Thomas to represent Celtics at NBA draft lottery

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Thomas to represent Celtics at NBA draft lottery

WALTHAM, Mass. – Isaiah Thomas has been beating the odds for about as long as he has been playing basketball.

The Boston Celtics are hoping he can do the same for them during next month’s draft lottery when the Celtics learn exactly where their first round pick from Brooklyn will land in the lottery (top-14).
 
Because of the Nets' regular season record (21-61), the pick which came to Boston via the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade in 2013, has the third-best chances of becoming the No. 1 overall pick which would presumably be used to select LSU’s Ben Simmons.

Thomas was asked about representing the Celtics at the draft lottery during his exit interview on Friday.

“I’m going to do it,” Thomas said. “I’m definitely going to be that guy, hopefully bring some luck.”

When asked if he had any particular good luck charms he will bring with him, Thomas responded, “Nah. But I’m going to do my research and find something.”

Thomas was selected with the 60th – and final – pick of the 2011 NBA draft, and has exceeded all expectations of player drafted so late.

Most players selected at that point are fighting just to make an NBA roster.

But the 5-foot-9 Thomas has been among the top scorers from his draft class, and this past season was named to his first all-star team.

This past season he averaged a career-high 22.2 points per game along with 6.2 assists. While the playoffs ended on a sour note for Thomas, he still wound up averaging a team-best 24.2 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

While some might think being asked to be at the lottery isn’t that big a deal, Thomas sees it as yet another moment that speaks to how far he has come in beating the odds that for most of his basketball career were stacked heavily against him.

“Coming from where I’m from and the story I have, you would never think I would be asked to represent an NBA franchise at the lottery,” Thomas said. “It’s a blessing for him (Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations) to even ask me that. I’m excited to do it. Hopefully I can bring some luck.”

Goodell: 'Of course' he'd pick up the phone for Brady settlement talks

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Goodell: 'Of course' he'd pick up the phone for Brady settlement talks

While a settlement between the NFL and Tom Brady seems unlikely -- OK, highly unlikely -- commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN Radio on Friday that he would "of course" pick up the phone if the Patriots or their quarterback called to discuss an agreement. 

Still, Goodell didn't say whether or not he would be open to knocking down Brady's four-game suspension that was reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from earlier this week. 

"We had a lot of discussions last summer," Goodell said. "There were a lot of offers back and forth about what to do to settle the issue. They chose to pursue the issue and we chose to move forward and we are where we are."

There continue to be voices speaking out on how Goodell may wield too much power when it comes to player discipline, the latest of which being that of Saints quarterback Drew Brees. But Goodell defended his role, as he has most of this week, citing the importance of the "integrity of the game."

"I am not going to hand off the integrity of the NFL to somebody who does not understand our business," Goodell said. "That is what we're going to maintain when it comes to the integrity of the game. Maybe something as it relates to the drug program and whether proper protocol is followed? I get it. Go ahead. Somebody else can make that decision. But when it comes to integrity of the game, that is the commissioner's responsibilities and has been since the day the NFL was formed."

Thomas: 'If you don't want to play for Celtics, you don't know basketball'

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Thomas: 'If you don't want to play for Celtics, you don't know basketball'

The Celtics season came to an end Thursday night as the Hawks took the first-round series in six games.

That stung everybody on the Celtics pretty hard in the moments after the final buzzer. But nobody appeared more upset than Isaiah Thomas, who made it clear that he poured his heart and soul into this season.

The goal now? To get better from within . . . and from the outside. That means bringing in some star talent.

Thomas spoke with reporters Friday after his end-of-season meeting with Celtics President Danny Ainge. He told them that everybody, especially Ainge, can see that the team needs a little more talent.

Acquiring it isn't easy, but having spent a season-and-a-half in Boston, Thomas doesn't see why someone wouldn't want to play for the Celtics.

There's no beating around the bush: Kevin Durant is the prized target this offseason. The Celtics appear to at least be somewhat in the picture. You can bet Thomas will do what he can to help.

The Celtics have an energetic fan base, a young team, and a load of assets. One of those assets will be determined at the lottery. And guess who will be there?