Allen fights ankle pain, inconsistency vs. Sixers

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Allen fights ankle pain, inconsistency vs. Sixers

WALTHAM Ray Allen was the first Boston Celtics player to address the media on Sunday.

For a change, the bulk of questions Allen faced had nothing to do with his right ankle injury that has at times limited him during this playoff series.

While Allen still has some pain and soreness associated with the injury, he's managing to fight through the pain and do what he can to help the Celtics win.

"I don't make any excuses for it," Allen said. "If I'm out there on the floor, I have to give 100 percent effort for it if I can. "

Allen's impact, like the Celtics play as a whole in this second round series with Philadelphia, has been up and down.

His scoring is down in this series primarily because the Sixers have made limiting his touches a priority.

Even if the ball isn't finding its way into his hands for shot attempts, the C's must still get the ball to him as part of one of their strengths -- good ball movement.

Because of his shooting prowess throughout his career, Sixers coach Doug Collins has made limiting Allen's touches one of Philadelphia's top priorities.

"Ray Allen, he's a threat to throw up 20 points any time," Collins said. "When he's on the floor, you have to space him differently. He takes away some of your help because you have to shade him a little bit more than you do somebody else."

Regardless of whether he's healthy or not, the Celtics must do a better job in terms of their play offensively, especially when they hit stretches in which the offense is clearly out of whack.

"When we get in those situations, we have to settle ourselves in," Allen said. "Offensively, we have to execute, we have to find the second, third option. We have to find the ball. It's just poise down the stretch."

Having that poise for most games is a lot easier with a healthy Allen on the floor.

As far as the questions about his gimpy ankle, it's now at a point where it's no longer a key talking point.

"It's nothing I talk about," Allen said. "If I can't do it, I won't play."

Bradley left off NBA's all-defensive teams

Bradley left off NBA's all-defensive teams

BOSTON – Avery Bradley was one of the NBA’s better defenders this past season, even as injuries limited him to just 55 games played. 

The lack of court time may have been a factor in Bradley being left off the NBA’s all-defensive first and second teams which were announced on Monday. 

Bradley, a member of the NBA's all-defensive first team last season, received 12 first-place votes as part of a 46-point voting total which was tops among the players who did not make the first or second team. 

Golden State’s Draymond Green, Utah’s Rudy Gobert and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard were the top three vote-getters, which explains why they are the three finalist for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award which will be announced tonight during the NBA Awards show which begins at 9 p.m. on TNT.

In addition to Green, Gobert and Leonard, the first team also included Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul who was named to his seventh all-NBA defensive team, with this being the sixth straight time being on the first unit. Houston’s Patrick Beverley, a second-team all-NBA defensive selection following the 2013-2014 season, was also named to the first team. 

The second unit included Memphis guard (and former Celtic) Tony Allen, San Antonio’s Danny Green, New Orleans center Anthony Davis with Oklahoma City’s Andre Roberson and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo rounding out the second team. 

In addition to Bradley, other Celtics receiving votes for one of the two all-defensive teams included Marcus Smart (five first-place votes, 21 points total); Jae Crowder (five points total) and Isaiah Thomas (one point total). 

Brown earns spot on NBA's all-rookie second team

Brown earns spot on NBA's all-rookie second team

BOSTON – Drafted with the third overall pick by a playoff team like the Boston Celtics, the expectations for Jaylen Brown were limited as best. 

But the 6-foot-7 rookie showed steady improvement throughout the season, and his hard work was rewarded on Monday with a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie second team. 

Joining Brown on the second team were Denver’s Jamal Murray, Phoenix forward Marquese Chriss, Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and Dallas’s Yogi Ferrell. 

The first team consisted of Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon and Philadelphia’s Dario Saric who were the only two unanimous selections to the first unit. They were joined by Sixers big man Joel Embiid, Sacramento’s Buddy Hield and New York center Willy Hernangomez. 

Brogdon, Saric and Embiid are the three finalists for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award which will be announced tonight during the league’s NBA Awards show at 9 p.m. tonight on TNT.

Brown appeared in 78 games for the Celtics with 20 starts, averaging 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.