Stiemsma, Allen look forward to Milwaukee return

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Stiemsma, Allen look forward to Milwaukee return

The Boston Celtics visit to Milwaukee for Thursdays game against the Bucks will be a homecoming for rookie Greg Stiemsma and a return to where it all began for veteran Ray Allen.

Stiemsma grew up in the small village of Randolph outside of Milwaukee and played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin. As a hoops fan, he watched Allen light up the court for over six years with the Bucks. Now as a member of the Celtics, Stiemsma has spent his first NBA season sitting next to Allen in the locker room.

Growing up in Wisconsin, we kind of ride around our sports teams a little bit, Stiemsma told CSNNE.com. How can you not like a guy like Ray? He plays the game the right way, one of the purest shooters the game has ever seen. Hes a hard guy not to like and look up to, no matter what position you play.

Meeting Ray kind of was surreal at first, Stiemsma continued. But I kind of tried to, not hide those feelings, but I tried to be professional about this whole situation. I was a big fan of KG (Kevin Garnett) and all these guys. Even through college, when I watched the NBA I liked watching these guys play because theyre the best in the business. To be a part of it and to be on the floor with them at the same time, its an honor. But at the same time its my job, too.

Allen appreciates the long road Stiemsma has taken to the NBA. After playing professional basketball overseas, the 26-year-old rookie finally has the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd that has supported him since he was a high school standout, leading his team to three straight Division 4 state titles.

I think just the simple fact that he played overseas and was in that predicament trying to get to the NBA, he doesnt hold a privileged mentality about being here, Allen told CSNNE.com. He has a grateful disposition. Hes happy to be here, so he listens to everything you tell him. You always notice when you tell young guys, sometimes they dont want to listen to you. They have that type of approach or disposition about them that it makes you not want to tell them anything. But Greg is always open and receptive because I guess he does know where he comes from and he wants to stay around.

Stiemsma has become more comfortable with his teammates as the season goes on. Allen has encouraged him to ask questions and reach out to the veterans around him on a daily basis.

The knowledge is invaluable as Stiemsmas role has increased due to the season-ending losses of Jermaine ONeal (wrist) and Chris Wilcox (heart condition). Over the last five contests he is averaging 3.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks in 16.6 minutes per game compared to his average of 2.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 10.7 minutes.

I think it helps the adjustment, getting used to it and being one of the guys, not feeling like an outsider or the rookie or the young guy, said Stiemsma. Theyve all been more than welcoming.

There will be a large crowd of fans cheering for their hometown success story on Thursday in Milwaukee. And there will be another group of supporters on the court as well.

Greg knows the way I give you my information, Im not doing it to make myself sound good, look good, or I want to hear myself talk, said Allen. I want you to do well, be successful, make a lot of money, be around for a long time. He definitely should be around for a long time.

Blakely: Blown call didn't cost Celtics the game Saturday vs. Blazers

Blakely: Blown call didn't cost Celtics the game Saturday vs. Blazers

WALTHAM -- You won’t find the Boston Celtics blaming anyone but themselves for Saturday’s 127-123 overtime loss to Portland. 
 
But they certainly didn’t get any breaks down the stretch from the referees, who made a huge officiating mistake in the final seconds of regulation. 

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Following a Celtics miss in the game’s closing seconds, Blazers guard Damian Lillard wound up with the ball but was stripped almost immediately by Marcus Smart, who put the steal back in for a lay-up that would have given Boston a one-point lead with 10.8 seconds to play. 
 
The ruling on the floor at the time was a foul against Smart. But officials later determined as part of their report on the final two minutes of the game, that the foul against Smart was an incorrect call.
 
“It just pisses you off, doesn’t it?” Crowder said. “It just pisses you off. I don’t like it.”
 
Crowder, like a number of players I have spoken to about this particular subject, is not a fan of the league releasing the information. 
 
And his reasoning, like his NBA brethren, is simple. 
 
There’s no recourse relative to that particular game if the officials in fact got a call wrong. 
 
So for their purposes, the transparency that the league is seeking, while just, doesn’t do them a damn bit of good when it comes to what matters most to them. Which is wins and losses. 
 
“It’s over now. It’s too late to confirm it now,” said Smart who told media following the loss that the steal was clean. “The game is over with. It is what it is; on to the next game now.”
 
Smart added that having the league confirm the call was wrong is frustrating. 
 
“They come back and tell you they miss the call, but it’s over now,” Smart said. “We’re on to the next game. It’s like they shouldn’t even said it. But I understand it; they’re trying to take responsibility and show they made a bad call. We appreciate it but at that time as a player it’s frustrating. That possibly could have won us the game.”
 
But as Smart, coach Brad Stevens and other players asked about it mentioned, Boston made so many mistakes against the Blazers and played so uncharacteristically for long stretches that it would be unfair and just not right to pin the game’s outcome on one bad call late in the game. 
 
“It happens,” said Stevens who added that he’s never read a two-minute report other than what he has seen published by the media. “There were plenty of things we could have done better.”
 
He’s right.
 
That blown call didn’t cost the Boston Celtics the game. 
 
Their play did. 
 
The Celtics turned the ball over 21 times that led to 34 points, both season highs. 
 
They couldn’t contain C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard, two of the league’s most explosive guards who combined for 63 points on 20-for-42 shooting.
 
Boston allowed Myers Leonard to score a season-high 17 points. 
 
Certainly the bad call against Smart was a factor. 
 
But it would not have been an issue if the Celtics had done a better job of controlling the things they could have controlled, like defending shooters better, making smarter decisions when it came to passing the ball and maybe most significant, play with a higher, more consistent level of aggression around the rim. 

Bradley, Green and Jackson to miss Celtics' game Tuesday against Wizards

Bradley, Green and Jackson to miss Celtics' game Tuesday against Wizards

WALTHAM -- The team flight to Washington for tomorrow night's game against the Wizards will be a little lighter than the Celtics would like. 
 
Boston continues to be cautious with Avery Bradley and his right Achilles strain injury. Coach Brad Stevens confirmed that the 6-foot-2 guard won't travel and will sit out for the seventh time in the last eight games. 

Stevens added he didn't anticipate Bradley returning to the court anytime this week, which means he's likely not to return until next week's game against Detroit on Jan. 30. 
 
Bradley won’t be the only Celtic not making the trip for health-related reasons. Gerald Green and Demetrius Jackson are both not traveling due to sickness. 
 
However, the Celtics did get a bit of good news on the health front. Jonas Jerebko and Tyler Zeller, both having missed games with sickness, will take the trip to D.C. with the rest of their teammates.