Allen's contributions to Celtics go beyond statistics

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Allen's contributions to Celtics go beyond statistics

PHILADELPHIA For most of Ray Allen's career, judging his impact on games was pretty easy.

Allen's value was often measured in how many points scored, or how many dagger 3-pointers he made to help his team win.

But these days, Allen's statistical impact isn't quite as great. Allen is averaging a playoff career-low 11.3 points and in the three games against Philadelphia, he's averaging just 10.7 points per game.

However, his ultimate contribution to the Celtics in terms of winning, could not be any greater.

When you look at all the factors that have played a role in Boston's 2-1 series lead over the Philadelphia 76ers, Allen's mere presence ranks high.

The Celtics are plus-22 when Allen is on the floor, the highest plus-minus ratio of any one in this series with the exception of Kevin Garnett (plus-47) and Avery Bradley (plus-23).

"That tells you his effectiveness," said Sixers coach Doug Collins, who like most coaches who face the Celtics, has paid a great deal of attention to Allen when he enters the game.

"Ray Allen, he's a threat to throw up 20 points any time," Collins said. "When he's on the floor, you have to space him differently. He takes away some of your help because you have to shade him a little bit more than you do somebody else."

While it might be tempting to try and force Allen's involvement more in Game 4, don't think for a minute that the NBA's all-time 3-point shooting king will do any lobbying for more shot attempts.

"I don't have to change anything (in Game 4) that happened from last game," Allen said. "The way they guarded me, the way they guarded us as a team, the final score was the result we were all hoping for. The object is to win."

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”