Boston Celtics

Allen makes necessary adjustments

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Allen makes necessary adjustments

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - When Ray Allens signature long-range shot wasnt falling, he went with Plan B.

That decision helped the Celtics beat the Pacers, 99-88, on Sunday afternoon.

Allen hit his first three-point bucket with four minutes to go in the second quarter. But as his next four attempts didnt drop, he changed his course.

Showing his veteran discipline, Allen passed on the trey and drove the lane instead. Only three of his 17 points came from beyond the arc (8-16 FG).

The last time Allen shot 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, he finished with just nine points. Sundays performance was the most points he has scored all season when only making one three-point shot.

I just had to go to the hole, Allen said. I missed a couple shots that seemed like they were right on, but I did sense the urgency to take me off the three-point ball. So when I was coming up, I was just trying to get to the hole because there were gaps there.

Allen provided one of the highlights of the game with a fastbreak layup that froze Mike Dunleavy in his tracks. While the play was something typical of a speedy point guard, it was part of Allens plan of attack.

"It's just, I'm not the guy that always has the ball in his hands, he said. I'm known for what I've been doing while in this role. But my whole career, I've had to create opportunities for myself, be a playmaker for other guys on the team, try to get other guys involved. I don't have to do that as much this year. (Rajon) Rondo is a guy who is the creator here on the team, but we still have to be able to make plays with each other.

Just as Allen adjusted his own offense against the Pacers, he has also adjusted the way he plays within the team with Rondo sidelined (ankle). He dished six assists for the second consecutive game, nearly two more than his season average of 4.2.

And with Paul Pierce playing the role of point-forward, Allen jumped in when needed.

You know, it was funny, I think it was three minutes left, you could see he (Pierce) was getting tired, so you had Ray bringing it up a couple times, said Doc Rivers.

Ball handling, fastbreak layups - theyre not moves commonly associated with Allen. But after making the necessary adjustments, the end results very familiar to him - a win.

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

NEW YORK - NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at a replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

"It's 100 percent for the safety of the players," NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said Thursday.

The NBA had made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few years ago, because of the risk of injuries. 

Officials can still rule the play a common foul if they did not see a dangerous or unnatural attempt by the defender upon review. Borgia said Pachulia's foul would have been deemed a flagrant.

With the fouls on the perimeter shots - often coming when the offensive player has come off a screen and quickly attempts to launch a shot as his defender tries to catch up - officials will focus on the sequencing of the play. The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made, rather than gathering the ball to shoot such as on a drive to the basket.

"We saw it as a major trend in the NBA so we had to almost back up and say, `Well, wait a minute, this is going to be a trend, so let's catch up to it,"' NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said.