Allen looks good in return to Celtics


Allen looks good in return to Celtics

BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett praised him. Doc Rivers praised him. Ray Allen had a hot hand. Yet in his return from missing four games with an ankle injury, Allen found it difficult to be happy about his individual performance.

In spite of his 22 points, the Celtics lost by one point to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It doesnt matter individually what I did out there, he said following the Celtics 88-87 loss. Just being on the sideline watching these guys play well and play hard and win games, I want to be part of that, the winning. So its like I need to do more. Really what I do, it doesnt really seem like it really makes a difference. Long term it does, but right now when you lose thats all that matters.

Always concerned about the teams end result, Allen focused more on the final outcome than his stat line. He missed an uncontested layup with under two minutes to go, a rare occurrence from the offensively sharp veteran.

But others were not as hard on him.

Allen shot 9-for-14 from the field, including 4-for-6 from three-point range, in just under 36 minutes.

Ray looked good, said Doc Rivers. He looked fresh. 9-for-14, in some ways you look at the stats, he was probably our most efficient player. He missed the big lay-up down the stretch and got some, I thought he gave up some middle drives and some base-line drives that creates those offensive rebounds that we talk about. Those are things we have to get better at. But overall, I couldnt have been happier with his play.

Allen wanted to play on Friday night against the Indiana Pacers, but after warming up before the game he realized he wasnt healthy enough. His patience paid off. He continued to work out on the AlterG Treadmill and tried to fit in as much rest as he could following the birth of his fourth son last week.

I obviously wouldnt have come out on the floor if I had felt like I was not 100 percent, he said. I dont want to be looking bad out on the floor. I know I have to do what I have to do to be good for this team and I have to trust that they can do their jobs well. I believe since Ive been out that theyve done a great job, just watching from the sidelines.

"So I wouldnt come out if I felt I was going to be, maybe not 100 percent, but if I was below a certain percentage, I would have sat this one out. I got my looks, I took them, I tried to be more aggressive in certain situations but tried not to do too much.

Even though they didn't get the win, the Celtics were still happy to have Allen back on the court.

"Classic Ray," said Garnett. "He gave us a spark. He looked fluid, energized. Looked like he hasnt slept in days but its typical of a new father of a new child. I thought he brought us a lot of energy, though."

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’


Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 



A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day


A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

Less than a week after announcing his retirement on Instagram, Kevin Garnett was back in the gym with old friends Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers.

Cue the comeback rumors? "Anything is possible!"

The tweet from the Clippers called Garnett a “special guest” at the team’s practice on Thursday. 

Rivers, the current Clippers and ex-Celtics coach, told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan last week he was willing to bring Garnett, who has a home in Malibu, to Los Angeles for one last season but KG, 40, chose to retire. So, apparently, the reunion Thursday with Doc, Pierce and Garnett was only temporary.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, a former Celtics assistant under Rivers, wants Garnett to join his staff.