By A.Sherrod Blakely
NEW YORK You hear the Boston Celtics players and coaches talk about it all the time.
Great ball movement makes winning easier. Great ball movement usually involves getting the ball in the hands of Ray Allen.
Despite the Celtics leading the New York Knicks 2-0 in their best-of-seven first-round series, it's clear that Allen isn't touching the ball nearly as much as he's used to.
During the regular season, Allen averaged shot a career-best 49.1 percent from the field while attempting 12.2 attempts per game.
Although he is Boston's top scorer in the playoffs with a 21 points per game average, he has done it despite taking fewer shots (23) than any of the Celtics Big Four.
One of the areas the C's have identified as needing some improvement in Game 3 on Friday night, is their slow starts to games.
In the first half of Games 1 and 2, New York has actually outscored the Celtics in both games by a combined 13 points.
And in the first half of those games, Allen has only attempted a total of seven shots with four makes.
While Allen recognizes that he's not getting the ball early games, it's not something he's concerned about or has given much thought to.
"However the flow of the game is going, you just have to follow it and you have to stick with it," said Allen, who is shooting 65 percent from the field in the first two games. "At this point, I don't worry about shots."
That's because the C's are playing the defensively-challenged Knicks who are bound to leave someone open for a good shot.
"I know their game plan they don't want me to get any shots," Allen said. "So if they can keep me off shooting the ball, they've done their job."
And Allen, despite fewer attempts, continues to do his job which is to spread the floor when given an opportunity.
But if the Knicks try and take that away, he has shown no hesitation in putting the ball on the floor and driving to the basket.
"Ray's always been more than just a 3-point shooter," Knicks guard Chauncey Billups told CSNNE.com earlier. "I mean, he's one of the greatest, maybe the greatest, ever at shooting 3-pointers. But you can't just play him looking for that all day. He can do some other things too, that can hurt you."