What we know, and can't know

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What we know, and can't know

It's been two games since Ray Allen rejoined the Celtics, and you already know how I feel about his role in the rotation.

In short, I think Allen should come off the bench. And I hope that Doc continues to use him that way. I'm not sure that he will, but I really hope he does.

They need to see what Bradley and Rondo can do.

But that's all I'll say about it for now. The story's already approaching overkill. Instead, I want to touch on something else that Allen said earlier in the week. Not about starting or coming off the bench, but about being away from the team.

It was a quote from Tuesday afternoon, and the question was: How hard is to sit on the sidelines and watch your teammates go to battle?

"It's kind of mentally draining,'' Allen said. "There is conversation going in the locker room that you're not really a part of. I'm sitting in the locker room watching the games and there is a language being spoken that I'm not a part of. I'm watching the game, but I don't know what's happening."

It's that last part that I found especially interesting: "I'm watching the game, but I don't know what's happening."

I think at some point in every sports writers' career, in every sports fan's life, there comes a time when someone accuses you of not knowing what's going on. There are even more times when you, in actuality, really don't know what's going on.

Sometimes it's a matter of relationships in the locker room or clubhouse. For instance, remember back in Spring Training, when everyone freaked out over Bobby Valentine saying that he thought Mark Melancon did a good job backing up the bases? How we all thought that Bobby V. was being mean-spirited and sarcastic, taking a shot at Melancon's performance, and that the manager was on the verge of losing his team?

We went with that story line for a few days.

And then it turned out he was only joking. That his "backing up the bases" bit was actually an inside joke between the manager and Melancon, and wasn't even close to a big deal.

But we didn't know. Because we're not really there. No one is.

Same goes for the actual games. We media members, sports fans watch these games. We watch them closely, with the advantage of DVR and slow motion replay. We study these games and players and give everything we have just to try and figure out what's going on. What's working. What isn't. What they need to do to be more successful. But the truth is, unless you're there in the the huddles, on the plane, in the locker room or in the field of play you never know exactly what's going on.

There are too many intricacies, conversations and relationships unfolding behind the scenes. There's an entirely different language being spoken. And we can't even hear it.

So here's the question: If Ray Allen's already losing touch after two weeks away, what chance do we have?

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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