Rivers: Allen likely out Saturday, but injury not serious

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Rivers: Allen likely out Saturday, but injury not serious

TORONTO Ray Allen's return to the Boston Celtics' lineup is still up in the air. But C's coach Doc Rivers believes his current ankle injury will sideline him for at least two games - tonight against Toronto and tomorrow night's game at New Jersey.

Allen did not travel with the team for tonight's game against the Raptors, but there was a chance that he might re-join the team in time for Saturday's game against the Nets.

Rivers doesn't believe that'll happen.

"Probably not Jersey," Rivers said when asked about Allen's return. "But we'll see after that."

Allen has missed a 12 games this season, most of which have been because of his current right ankle injury.

The main issue appears to be the ankle swelling up to a point where Allen can't run or play at a level he's comfortable with or used to.

With so many games already missed, Rivers was asked if there was any concern that it might become a season-ending type injury.

"It's not that serious," Rivers said. "It's just swelling."

He added, "that's what the doctor's keep saying. So that makes me feel better about it."

With only eight games remaining, Rivers and his staff have discussed a number of options moving forward that would involve giving rest to some of the core players like Allen.

While it would appear his injury in some ways helps address that need, Rivers was quick to shoot that theory down prior to this morning's shoot-around.

"It would be nice to have Ray with us," Rivers said. "Kind of do some of the things we thought we were going to do. Not having him actually makes it far more difficult."

The Celtics are 11-1 in games this season in which Allen has not played.

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

BOSTON – Here are a few odds and ends to keep an eye on heading into tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings: 
 
· The Celtics have won eight in a row over the Kings in Boston, with the last loss to Sacramento at the TD Garden coming on Jan. 19, 2007. Current Celtic Gerald Green was in the starting lineup that night. 

· Only six times in franchise history have the Celtics launched 38 or more 3-pointers in a game, four of which came in the month of November this season. 

· Speaking of 3-pointers, 36.2 percent of Boston’s shots are 3s. That ranks fifth in the league behind Houston, Cleveland, Brooklyn and Golden State.

· Don’t be surprised if Avery Bradley gets off to a good start tonight, especially from 3-point range. He’s shooting 59.1 percent on 3s in the first quarter which ranks second in the league. 

· Isaiah Thomas tallied 395 points scored in November, the most by a Celtic since John Havlicek had 406 points in November during the 1971-1972 season. 

· Boston leads the NBA in points scored (46.3 per game) by second-round picks. The Celtics’ second-round picks include Isaiah Thomas; Jae Crowder; Amir Johnson; Jonas Jerebko; Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey.

· The Celtics are 5-0 this season when they outrebound an opponent. 

· Tonight’s game will be Boston’s fifth set of back-to-back games this season. In the first game, they are 3-1 this season. On the second night, they are 2-2.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.