BOSTON Ray Allen finished off his pre-game routine with a dunk, about as clear a sign as we've seen that Ray Allen - for tonight at least - was back.
The long-awaited return of Ray Allen to the Celtics lineup is finally over, with the veteran guard being deemed healthy enough to play in Game 3 of Boston's first-round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.
While the Celtics certainly could use Allen's long-range shooting, there's no way of telling how much C's coach Doc Rivers will play him - or how long Allen can last once he gets on the floor.
The right ankle injury has kept him off the floor for the last 11 games for the C's. And his return could not come at a better time for a Celtics team that has struggled mightily from 3-point range.
Boston is connecting on just 12 percent of its 3-pointers, far and away the worst of any playoff team thus far.
Allen's absence has also been felt in the Celtics bench production, which also ranks last at nine points per game.
Highlights from the Boston Celtics loss to the Houston Rockets
The bumps and bruises continue to pile up for Isaiah Thomas, adding a new one to the group during Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston.
The 5-foot-9 guard said he strained his right groin in the second quarter, but added that the injury won’t force him to miss any games.
“I’ll be alright,” Thomas told reporters after the loss. “I’ll get treatment. I’ll be fine for Wednesday (against Orlando).”
The injury appeared to have happened shortly after Houston’s Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer that put the Rockets ahead 55-45.
At the time it didn’t seem all that serious as Thomas, who had 20 points on the night, came down and drained a 3-pointer.
But after the game, Thomas acknowledged his groin did bother him during the game in which he played 33-plus minutes.
“A few drives I didn’t have the lift,” said Thomas, who finished with 20 points. “It is what it is. I’ll figure it out.”
Thomas, who played in all 82 regular season games last season in addition to each of Boston’s 21 games this season, has dealt with an assortment of injuries including but not limited to, a swollen middle finger injury on his left (shooting) hand.
Thomas, an All-Star last season for the first time, has played at an elite level that should once again position him to be represent the Eastern Conference.
Following Monday’s game, Thomas is averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game which ranks ninth in the NBA along with 6.1 assists.