How much does Ray Allen have left?


How much does Ray Allen have left?

Hard to believe, but the Celtics are down to five games on the regular season.

And from here on out, it's all about seeding.

Who will they play in the first round? Who would they play in the second round? Will they have home court advantage? Can someone please kidnap Reggie Miller?

This is what we want to know.

But here's the thing about playoff seeding: It's so far beyond the Celtics control.

They could win the next five games or lose the next five games, and it might not make a difference. Their seeding and opponent will still one way or another likely come down to the last day of the season. So why stress about it now?

On that note, while seeding is cool, I'm far more interested in watching Ray Allen.

He's the real story of these next two weeks.

I mean, it's obvious that this injury is somewhat serious. At least to the extent where it will linger from now until the end of the playoffs. So, how much can he give? How long can he go? Is this something that could sabotage his season?

Of course, with Avery Bradley in the mix, these questions aren't quite as scary as they would have been at pretty much any other point in Allen's Celtics career. Right now, the C's are more prepared than ever to fight on without him.

But it goes without saying that if Boston has any legitimate dreams of winning another title, they need Ray Allen. He may not be able to run circles around you for 35 minutes a night anymore, but there are still things that he can do down the stretch of a game a playoff game that very few can. He's still a difference maker.

So let's hope Allen is out there tonight at MSG, and that more importantly, he can still walk when he wakes up tomorrow morning.

And then we can talk about seeding.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.