Allen not yet ready

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Allen not yet ready

BOSTON Ray Allen was on the TD Garden floor hours before tip-off, knocking down shot after shot after shot.

In his mind, tonight was going to be the night when he would return to the Boston Celtics' lineup.

But his body - specifically, his left ankle - had other plans.

Allen said the ankle isn't where he's comfortable playing on it, which means he'll miss his third straight game tonight.

"I shot today, and I felt pretty good shooting," Allen said. "But I still have a little I think it's still a little weak. I'll go at it tomorrow, and try to go through a couple different routines, cutting back and forth, doing everything I can on the court and then go back and see how I feel on Sunday."

In addition to Allen, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team will also be without Rajon Rondo (right wrist), Jermaine O'Neal (left knee) and Keyon Dooling who suffered a hip pointer injury in Boston's 91-83 win at Orlando on Thursday night.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers is optimistic that some of his injured players will return to action on Sunday when the C's host Cleveland.

"I don't know which ones," Rivers said. "Everybody's real close, but no one is ready today."

Allen, who was in Boston along with his wife welcoming in the birth of their son, Wystan Ryan Allen, had a chance to catch some of Boston's come-from-behind win over the Magic.

Like many, Allen has been impressed by the way the C's backups have made the most of their increased playing time with himself and other key players out with injuries.

"What we've said all along, we have a group of guys that know how to play," Allen said. "As long as we continue to go out there and work together, and make it happen, together at times when we're bad we look helter-skelter. But when we're good, we got it all focused in and everybody's doing their job."

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

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Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’

Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.

When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.

“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”

Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.

“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”

And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.

“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.

Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”

And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.

He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.

“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”