Allen beginning to get back on target

773858.jpg

Allen beginning to get back on target

BOSTON Ray Allen remains day-to-day for the Boston Celtics.

But it seems everyday is bringing him just that much closer to being the late-game, dagger-shooting Ray Allen that Celtics fans have come to embrace and this time of year, expect to come up with big plays.

He certainly did in Boston's 115-111 overtime loss at Miami in Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals. They'll need more of Allen's clutch shooting on Friday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. Boston trails 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Rajon Rondo was on a different level than anyone else that night, finishing with a career-high 44 points to go with 10 assists and eight rebounds in what was one of the greatest games played by a Celtic in the postseason.

But it was the 3-pointer by Allen late in the fourth quarter that tied the score and ultimately, forced the game into overtime.

"Miami doesn't leave me often, but they left me that time," Allen said.

The 6-foot-5 guard, still dealing with bone spurs in his right ankle, has been in the midst of his worst postseason in terms of scoring (9.8) and shooting from both the field (39.7) and from 3-point range (27.9) in addition to a just 61.3 percent from the free throw line.

But in Boston's Game 2 loss, Allen's 13 points were the second-highest scoring output he has had in the playoffs this year. More important, he was moving with the kind of fluidity that has seldom been seen during this postseason run by the Celtics.

For them to come away with a victory, Allen will need to build off of what was about as close to the Ray Allen of old that the C's have seen lately.

"The whole game I felt good," Allen said. "I had really no issues moving around the floor. As the game went on, it was almost like if I forget about it, then it's a good thing, and I forgot about my foot, and eventually I just kept playing and I didn't have any issues."

And that bodes well for both Allen and the Celtics heading into a must-win game Friday night.

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

BOSTON – Wednesday’s 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks was the fifth time in the last six games that Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley was out because of a right Achilles injury.

Well, it appears the 6-foot-2 guard may miss a few more with this injury.

“I can see him missing a little more time,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said following Wednesday’s loss. “I just think maybe he came back a little bit too early, whatever the case may be.”

MORE:

Bradley was expected to play against the Knicks, but was a last-minute scratch.

Celtics big man Al Horford said he didn’t find out Bradley was out until the team was on the floor doing pre-game warmups and he didn’t see him.

“He was really sore,” Stevens said of Bradley. “Went through our walk-through and then came on to the court and did some stuff and was more sore today than he has been. I think he did treatment the whole game.”

This latest setback for Bradley is part of a growing narrative that has dogged him throughout his career which has included him missing games to injury in each of his six-plus NBA seasons.

Bradley came into this season once again hoping to be as injury-free as possible, only to see that dream dashed with this right Achilles strain he's suffering with currently.

Still, there’s no downplaying the significance and value the Celtics have in the 26-year-old. This season, he is second on the Celtics in scoring at 17.7 points per game and leads them in rebounds with 6.9 per game with both being career highs. In addition, he averages just under 35 minutes per game which is also tops on the team.

Marcus Smart has been Stevens’ choice to replace Bradley in the starting lineup when Bradley has been unavailable, and that’s not likely to change between now and Saturday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.