Grousbeck: Allen's price too high for Celtics


Grousbeck: Allen's price too high for Celtics

By now, the news has set in: Ray Allen is teaming up to form a Big Four in Miami -- not in Boston.

He's taking less money over more years than what the Celtics were offering, and he's leaving behind a fan base and teammates who adored his smooth stroke from beyond the arc and his professionalism on and off the court.

Count Wyc Grousbeck as one of those fans. Danny Ainge, Grousbeck, and the rest of the Celtics front office did all they could to get Allen back, but it wasn't in Allen's best interest.

Grousbeck spoke on the topic on The Felger and Mazz Show (98.5 FM, CSNNE) Monday afternoon, admitting that losing Allen will hurt, but based on Allen's demands, it was the only option.

"It's a blow," Grousbeck said of loosen Allen. "We tried hard to get him back. We made the best offer anybody made him, but he didn't take it."

There were reports the C's were considering offering Allen a no-trade clause -- "I don't think that's a huge issue, and I think we would have made that commitment to Ray if he would have asked," Grousbeck said, "and maybe we did make that commitment to Ray along the way."

There was another report in the Boston Herald that Allen wanted triple what the Heat were offering -- "Let's put it this way," Grousbeck started, "Ray named numbers that were- he would have come back if we had- I believe he would have come back if we had hit a large number that would have precluded us under the 74 million cap and basically signing other people that we needed. So it wasn't fitting into the program."

The Celtics instead signed Jason Terry and Jeff Green, while re-signing Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. They've got a little more wiggle room -- not much -- and hope to add a few more final pieces that wouldn't be possible if Allen got the money he demanded.

Grousbeck will remember Allen the same way most Celtics fans will -- he did a ton of good while he was there, but ignoring the why and how that he's not there anymore is pretty hard.

"Oh, you know? I just literally got goosebumps thinking about how I'll remember Allen," Grousbeck said. "That's emotion again coming into it. I remember sitting there in Game 4 of NBA Finals in L.A. when we were down 24 points and Ray nearly single-handedly brought us back with a record-setting barrage of three-pointers and we won and went up 3-1 on the Lakers in '08.

"I remember him holding his son Walker and talking about his family and how important they are. I remember him setting the three-point record in a Celtics uniform. And unfortunately I'm going to remember him saying he's going to our arch rivals for half the money. But most of those things are very, very good and he's done a lot for us and we were glad to have him."

Grousbeck wouldn't go as far as to say that Allen wanted to "stick it" to the Celtics for throwing his name in trade rumors and replacing him as a starter. But he did have one little jab to add in the end.

"I don't know. I doubt that very much. I think it's making the best decision for him and his family and I'm OK with that. I think he shot the highest percentage of three-pointers that he ever shot over the last two years, and Rondo is feeding him that ball perfectly, so he's going to have to get that ball from another point guard in another offense and we'll see."

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

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. 

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

The fact that the James Harden of the Houston Rockets went to the free throw line 18 times which was more than the entire Celtics roster (12 free throw attempts total) certainly fired up conspiracy theorists among Celtics Nation. 
But what seemed to draw the most ire was what appeared to be a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley late in the fourth quarter that was initially called a long two-pointer. 
And after it was reviewed by the good folks in Secaucus, N.J., they allowed the ruling to stand because there wasn’t enough proof in the many replay angles for them to overturn the original call. 
The missed lay-ups by Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas in the closing seconds stand out, obviously. 
But the 3-pointer that wasn’t a 3-pointer was one of the more talked-about topics in the Celtics locker room afterwards. 
“From the angle we saw, it was a three,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told reporters after the game. “We definitely thought it was.”
Said Jae Crowder: “I thought it was a three. Nothing we can do about it now.”
It was that kind of game for the Celtics, one in which plays that could go either way more often than not, went against them. 
And while Bradley’s questionable two-pointer certainly was a factor in the game’s outcome, as was the free throw discrepancy and the late-game misses, ultimately the blame for Monday’s loss falls upon the Celtics players who were still in position to win despite all those setbacks.

They simply didn't get it done, when it mattered.
Smart, who had 13 points off the Celtics bench, understands that fans like to blame the officials when a game ends like Monday’s loss to Houston. 
“Officials, they did their job,” Smart said. “You can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game. We made some costly plays down the stretch. Give credit to the Rockets. They made plays and executed down the stretch.”