Moore and Johnson reflect on loss of Allen

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Moore and Johnson reflect on loss of Allen

ORLANDO, Fla. - Boston Celtics guard E'Twaun Moore counts Ray Allen among the
many Celtic players who helped him in his transition to the NBA last season.

At the end of the day, Moore understands Allen's decision to sign a three-year deal worth more than 9 million with the Miami Heat is just part of the business of being an NBA player.

"I didn't really know what was going on," Moore said. "It's kind of surprising. But that's a decision he has to make for himself."

It was a decision that might benefit Moore who comes into this summer league trying to do enough to warrant the C's bringing him back for a second season.

That path became a little more clearer with Allen's decision to not return to Boston and accept a two-year deal worth 12 million.

"It gives me a greater chance (of making the team)," Moore said of Allen's departure. "I just have to take advantage of it."

With the C's already having a backcourt of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and
soon-to-be acquired Jason Terry, the addition of Allen would have made it a lot
tougher for the Celtics to justify keeping Moore when they have so many other
holes in their roster in need of addressing.

"He's gone," Moore said. "So now I just have to worry about me and go ahead and play."

Moore's play, especially his confidence in his shot, has been aided by spending a year with Allen who has made more 3s (2,718 and counting) than any player in NBA history.

Many of the lessons needed to achieve such a milestone, Allen has passed on that knowledge to players like Moore.

"He definitely shared his wisdom," Moore said. "Especially on keeping your body healthy; make sure you take care of yourself by staying in shape. Those were some of the things he always talked about."

Although they play different positions, Boston forward JaJuan Johnson counts Allen among the Boston veterans to provide some guidance and direction during his first season as well.

"He was a great teammate," Johnson told CSNNE.com. "The biggest thing Ray did, was lead by example. He always stuck to the 'true team' concept, always professional. Those were the two things I take away from being around Ray."

Celtics assistant coach Tyronn Lue who is coaching the C's summer league team, counts himself among those who will miss having Allen around.

As much as Allen helped him and the coaching staff's job become easier, the impact he made on the team's young players - like Moore and Johnson - was one of Allen's strengths that often went unnoticed.

"Ray's the ultimate professional. He comes ready to play, everyday," Lue said. "The same workout he's been doing for the last 15 years. Young guys will miss him, but other guys will step up and take on the responsibility."

Lue, like most Celtic fans, is still processing the idea that No. 20's last big shot around these parts was the one he delivered on Friday when he decided to take his sweet-looking shot to South Beach instead of sticking around and making another run at Banner 18.

"I was shocked," Lue said of Allen's decision. "I see Ray as a Celtic. But in this business, you have to do what's best for you. I guess he thought Miami was best for him."

Blakely: Celtics not as feared as they were last season

Blakely: Celtics not as feared as they were last season

BOSTON -- On more than one occasion Monday night, the Boston Celtics were a discombobulated bunch with some players thinking they were running one play, while others were thinking the play called was something totally different.
 
You see that stuff in the preseason and to a certain extent in the regular season for a lot of teams. It is in those moments that we’re reminded that this Boston Celtics team is a work in progress on so many levels.
 
Because of that, we all need to hit the pause button when talking about them as a team inching closer towards Eastern Conference supremacy.
 
After the first month of the season, they have yet to show that they are going to be better than last season’s 48-win ball club.
 
The big problem a year ago was the offense bogging down and for the most part, not making shots. This year, it’s the team’s defense that has let them down on many nights.
 
And with that comes a sobering reminder this crew is good, but at best are maybe top-five in the East.
 
As a team on the rise, beating teams you’re not supposed to has to happen with some semblance of regularity.
 
There were only three teams on the Celtics’ docket this season thus far that they should have been beaten by without there being any argument: Golden State, San Antonio and Cleveland.
 
They were beaten in all three, two of which (Golden State and Cleveland) had final scores that did not indicate the level of dominance they had over the Celtics.
 
The average margin of defeat in the three games was 9.3 points, but two of them (San Antonio and Golden State) were at the TD Garden, which is supposed to be the equalizer for upset-minded teams.
 
But in each game, Boston put up a decent fight only to fail to emerge victorious.
 
The struggles against the upper echelon teams of the NBA has nothing to do with not having a superstar or a great rebounder or any of the kazillion reasons/excuses offered up as to why they’re not better.
 
It’s hunger.
 
It’s effort.
 
It’s about being blinded by the internet clicks that tout them as one of the best teams in the East, and them not seeing the danger that comes with embracing all that patting on the back.
 
It makes you soft.
 
It makes you fat and happy.
 
And maybe most significant, it creates a false sense of arrival before you’ve left the tarmac.
 
That’s where the Boston Celtics are right now: a team that seems to have forgotten why they were the team nobody wanted to play last year.
 
It wasn’t that teams feared playing them. It was the fact that they knew playing the Celtics would be tough, and it would force them to play a lot closer to their full potential than they were used to if they wanted to win.
 
It was because everyone knew that to beat the Celtics, you don’t have a choice but to play hard because you damn well knew they would.
 
Not anymore.
 
They bring that toughness to the game in small doses, like an intra-venous drip full of hope and promise, providing just enough to life to keep their fans optimistic but not nearly enough to kill the noise of their haters and critics.
 
And while the season is still young, the Celtics need to start racking up some quality wins.
 
Right now, their most impressive win is a toss-up between beating Charlotte 104-98 on Oct. 29, or a 94-92 win at Detroit on Nov. 19.
 
Boston plays at Orlando on Wednesday, a team that’s likely to be back in the lottery again. But after that, they travel back to Boston where they’ll host Toronto -- a game that they desperately need to not only to pad their win total but also provide a much-needed boost of energy and confidence going forward.

The Celtics have to find that hunger, that collective desire that we’ve seen in the past which has propelled them to greater heights than we’ve seen thus far.
 
Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford… you can go down the roster and the mission for all of them has to be the same: play harder, for longer, and be smarter about it, because this team has too much collective talent to be just three games above .500.
 
At 12-9, Boston is third in the East and trail conference-leading Cleveland by three games for the best record in the conference. But then you look at the teams behind the Celtics and realize that they’re only two games out of having the ninth-best record in the East.
 
It speaks in part to the season still being in its infancy stage. But it’s also telling as to how Boston does not have a huge margin of error when it comes to losing winnable games.
 
And as we’ve seen thus far, the Celtics can play with any team in the NBA and hold their own.
 
But beating them is a totally different narrative that this squad has yet to write.