Allen gets 'passing' grade in Celtics win


Allen gets 'passing' grade in Celtics win

CLEVELAND Ray Allen is the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history. But that's not why Allen has been among the league's top players for the bulk of his career.

Yes, the 3-point shot is indeed Allen's weapon of choice. But he can hurt teams in other ways as well, which he proved time and time again Tuesday night in Boston's 93-90 win over Cleveland.

Allen had 12 points, which included a couple of 3-pointers. He also racked up a season-high eight assists - something the Cavaliers probably didn't bank on having to deal with.

Coach Doc Rivers spoke with Allen before the game and told him that the shots he's used to taking probably wouldn't be there.

"Tonight is going to be your 'pass night,' " Rivers recalled telling Allen. "Kudos to Ray; he just kept moving the ball."

And more often than not, it was to a teammate open for a lay-up, dunk or a jumper.

With Rajon Rondo (wrist) still out, most of the play-making duties fell upon the shoulders of Paul Pierce. On Tuesday, that load was a bit more evenly distributed.

"Ray really helps out in that department, so all the pressure (to facilitate the offense) isn't on me," said Pierce, who had 20 points and six assists. "I can really focus in on scoring the ball a little more. I don't mind it, but it takes pressure off me, having that kind of player out there."

Most teams, and with good reason, worry most about Allen's 3-point shooting. But for guys like Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who used to compete against him for years, they understand that Allen is more than just a spot-up, 3-point shooter.

"We probably need Ray to make more plays, because he can," Garnett said. "He's been on teams where he led teams, and he's had to facilitate and then also be the man to hit big shots. So he knows how to do that. We have a lot of confidence in him doing that."

Still, that won't stop teams from trying to lock in on Allen's shooting prowess as the key to limiting his effectiveness.

And while Allen has shown at times that he still has the ability to break defenses down and make plays off the dribble, Allen - like most of the veterans on this Celtics team - understands that he has a clear role with this team.

"Systematically, what we do on a daily basis, it's just not there," Allen said. "As much as my aggressiveness, my aggressive nature is always going to still be present, I have to pick and choose those moments when I can (be more of a facilitator). For the most part, for this offense, my best attribute is to create space so these guys can operate and I can pull the defense out a little more.

Allen added, "It's not always about shooting the 3. It's getting to your mid-range game . . . I can get to the hoop. I try to focus on that more than just being a spot-up shooter because getting around, it just adds so much more of a dimension to what we do offensively."

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Intentionally or otherwise, the guy who allegedly pulled the fire alarm at the Steelers’ hotel Sunday morning may have also provided the average Bud Light-loving Bostonian a new motto. 

“I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan,” Dennis Harrison told police after he was arrested, according to the Boston Globe.  

Citing the State Police report, the Globe wrote Monday that Harrison was talked into pulling the alarm while at a party in Revere, with a friend driving the 25-year-old to the Boston Hilton Logan Airport hotel Sunday morning. 

Harrison reportedly walked up to the second floor and pulled the fire alarm before returning to the car, but his friend and the keys were gone. He was then picked up by police while walking away from the hotel. 

According to the Globe, Harrison pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and setting off a false fire alarm Monday and was released on personal recognizance.

Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'


Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'

Martellus Bennett wanted to party. The nine-year veteran had just stamped his first trip to the Super Bowl, and he was going to celebrate by doing things that would be quintessential "Football Marty." 

He grabbed some pom-poms and danced with Patriots cheerleaders.

He planned to Facetime his brother Michael, Pro Bowl defensive lineman for the Seahawks, and talk trash. "Now I’m going to the Super Bowl, mother[expletive]. Meet me in Houston."

He talked about how he'd do some baking. "Making myself a cake, and I am going to write, 'You're awesome' on the cake, and sit there, and I'll probably eat the whole thing and regret it tomorrow because I have to make sure I make weight."

It wasn't a typical reaction to making it to the final game of the season, not for a locker room half-full with players who have been there before. But it was genuine. And even Patriots coach Bill Belichick, often thought of as the no-fun police captain headquartered at Gillette Stadium, those kinds of emotions were worth appreciating.

"Yeah, I missed all of the dancing with the cheerleaders. Sorry. We’ll have to get a replay on that," Belichick said on a conference call Monday. "But you know, I’d say just in general . . . obviously it was a great win for our team and our organization last night, but it’s great to see the players who have worked so hard take so much satisfaction in their relationship with their teammates and the goal that they accomplished last night.

"Another step in a season where the team has already won 16 games but it was another significant step. When you see them reacting and congratulating each other and celebrating like that, you know you have a closeness on the team that is special. I mentioned that last night and it’s true. These guys, they work hard.

"They put up with a lot from me and they put up with a lot of significant demands and requirements here, but it’s done with the intent to try and produce a good product and a good team. They buy into it. They perform well in critical situations like last night. I take a lot of satisfaction in seeing them achieve that because they’ve worked so hard for it and I think they deserve it, but you’ve got to go out and prove it."

In order to emphasize the point that the Patriots had proved it, that they were more than a group of hard-workers, Belichick referenced a book by Jerry Izenberg that tracked the Giants for a week in 1989 -- when Belichick was defensive coordinator -- titled "No Medals for Trying." 

"This time of year everybody tries hard," Belichick said. "Everybody has a good team that is still playing. You’re only rewarded for achievement. Last night we were fortunate enough to earn that. It’s a great feeling to see everybody have that kind of interaction with each other and feel so good about their teammates and the guys they’ve worked so hard with."