Allen: 'I'm not going to stop shooting'


Allen: 'I'm not going to stop shooting'

CHICAGO Here's the thing about Ray Allen. Whether he's shooting well or woefully, you can be sure he'll keep on shooting.

Allen seemed to have broken free of a mini-shooting slump in the second half of Boston's 89-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls Thursday night.

He had 12 points, with all but one point coming in the second half.

Allen's hot hand was instrumental in the Celtics, seemingly on the verge of getting blown out, rallying to make it a relatively close game that wasn't decided until the final minute or two.

For years, the Celtics have talked about how the most telling sign of the team having great ball movement is when Allen gets great looks at the basket.

Allen had a few on Thursday, but not nearly as many as the C's are accustomed to giving him.

Part of that has to go to Chicago's defense. The other part of the problem has to do with the Celtics' big men not setting good enough picks to free up Allen more consistently.

"We have to find a way to get him and Paul Pierce open, get him easy shots," said Boston's Jermaine O'Neal. "Ray is the key. He's the key for us. Get him hot and it changes how teams play, how they defend us."

And while Allen began Thursday by missing his first five shots, there was no panic or concern.

"I just didn't have a great rhythm," Allen said.

But Allen is a shooter, arguably the greatest long-range shooter in his era.

So the idea that a few rough games shooting the ball would deter or make him trigger-shy with his shooting?

Not happening.

"One thing," Allen said. "I'm not going to stop shooting."

Randy Moss: Roger Goodell is 'biggest reason' for NFL's problems

Randy Moss: Roger Goodell is 'biggest reason' for NFL's problems

With the NFL facing more PR issues by the day, Randy Moss has identified what he feels is wrong with a league that can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

In wake of the Josh Brown situation, which saw the NFL blame the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office for the lack of initial punishment given to the Giants kicker for domestic violence, Moss said on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown that commissioner Roger Goodell is the league’s biggest problem. 

“[This is] a bad time to show up now, breast cancer awareness month where we’re supporting the women, and then you come up with this Josh Brown, where it doesn’t seem like we are supporting women,” Moss said. “I think the NFL needs to take a deep look. I think the owners are mad, and Roger Goodell, he is the biggest reason to all of this stuff that’s fallen downhill with the NFL. I have to agree with that.”

Brown was initially given a one-game suspension for violating the league’s conduct policy stemming from his 2015 fourth-degree domestic violence charge. On Friday, the 37-year-old was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. 

Steelers know they'll have their hands full with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett


Steelers know they'll have their hands full with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett

PITTSBURGH – So far this season, Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski have combined for 39 catches, 644 yards and five touchdowns. Making the numbers that much more impressive is the fact the numbers were rolled up with Gronk inactive for two games and fairly useless in another thanks to his hamstring injury.

Will the Steelers slow the roll of Robellus Grennetski?

Hard to imagine. As Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out, Gronk alone has tuned up the Steelers with 26 receptions for 403 yards and seven touchdowns in six meetings.

Fittipaldo explored the strategies the Steelers defense may unveil Sunday afternoon when the Patriots and Steelers get going. He also pointed out that the return of linebacker Ryan Shazier after a three week layoff and injuries for safeties Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden may put Pittsburgh at a disadvantage.

Said Shazier: “They have the tandem they want at tight end. Now they can use tight ends the way they want. You have to respect everyone on the field. Both of them are good blockers, good pass threats and great at running after the catch.”

Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said Pittsburgh will alter its approaches.

“We have to be able to play more than one defense,” Butler said. “They’re very good and they’ll pick you apart if they can figure out what you’re doing. We just have to execute the defense more than anything else. If we can do that … that’s been our problem for the most part. Some of the things that went on last week, we missed some things we should have made mentally.”

What “went on last week” was a 30-15 loss to the Dolphins.

Pittsburgh hasn’t been a big-play group so far -- eight sacks and three picks -- nor have they seen a gauntlet of great quarterbacks in the first six games. 

Interestingly, their losses have been to Ryan Tannehill and rookie Carson Wentz, probably the two quarterbacks one would figure Pittsburgh would do best against.
Between a smoking hot Brady and a can’t-be-stopped tight end tandem, there’s probably not a lot Pittsburgh can do aside from hoping for an off day.

Said linebacker Arthur Moats hopefully: “You have to continue to mix it up against (Gronkowski). You can’t give him the same look over and over. He has success on guys like that. If we disrupt him, and rush Brady and speed up his clock, I definitely think that will help out.”

In theory, perhaps. In practice? We’ll see.