Allen fights through pain to give C's bench scoring

754552.jpg

Allen fights through pain to give C's bench scoring

BOSTON On more than one occasion, Ray Allen found himself on the floor.

And on more than one occasion, he rose to his feet with a slight limp.

But at no point did he motion over to Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers that he needed to come out.

"I thought 10 different times he was hurt again," Rivers said. "He hit the floor four or five times."

Allen's right ankle injury is still troublesome, but he's starting to find ways to play with the pain and still be relatively effective.

While it wasn't one of Allen's better shooting nights in the postseason, his 12 points off the bench were significant in Boston's 92-91 Game 1 win.

Rivers knows better than most how difficult it has been for Allen to suit up, let alone play in games and still be more than a decoy.

"Ray is just tough," Rivers said. "I mean, I don't think we realize . . . his foot's bothering him. And he's playing terrific."

And while his numbers -- 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting -- weren't overly impressive, there was no way to deny the impact that his presence had on the game.

The C's were plus-17 with Allen on the floor in Game 1, with the next best plusminus ratio among Celtics players being Kevin Garnett who was plus-4.

"The stretch when he came in with the second unit -- and I keep throwing out the second unit -- but that was a big stretch for us," Rivers said.

Boston trailed 28-18 after the first quarter.

Allen was with the reserve unit that began the second quarter. By the time Allen left the game with 6:18 to play in the first half, the Sixers' 10-point lead was cut in half (37-32).

"It gave us hope," Rivers said.

And now the C's are hoping that Allen can stay healthy enough to keep contributing to a bench that has struggled mightily to score outside of his production.

As far as Allen's availability for Game 2, it will literally be a game-time decision.

"Now at this stage, even pretty much most of the season, we haven't had time to work through whatever we're dealing with, in practice," Allen said prior to Saturday's victory.

"For me, it's that moment before the game when I know I'm going to put myself through probably my most rigorous activities shooting-wise, and I can at least play around with it and see kind of where I'm at, where my comfort level and my abilities to do what I'm capable of doing."

Ainge: Groin injury will 'probably' keep Thomas from playing Friday

Ainge: Groin injury will 'probably' keep Thomas from playing Friday

There’s still no concrete answer on how long Isaiah Thomas’ right groin injury will keep him sidelined, but the 5-foot-9 guard probably will not play against Toronto on Friday.
 
Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, addressed Thomas’ availability on 98.5 the Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich show Thursday morning.
 
“It’s day to day,” said Ainge, who added that Thomas had an injection into his thigh muscle. “He is a warrior; he loves to play. He’ll be back faster than most players would be back after an injury. At the same time, we have to be really careful with Isaiah over the long haul and make sure he doesn’t come back and injure it.”
 
Thomas did not play in Boston’s 117-87 win at Orlando on Wednesday night, his first missed game since the 2014-15 season.
 
He is ranked among the NBA’s top-10 scorers with a career-high 26.0 points-per-game average, in addition to leading the Celtics in assists (6.2) per game.
 
Thomas has been effective while playing through an assortment of injuries during his time with Boston. But a groin injury isn't something that can just be played through,  which is why the Celtics are wisely shutting him down now.
 
“We’ll try and get him as much rest as we can and get him back on the court when he’s ready,” Ainge said.