Allen returns from blow to head to help comeback


Allen returns from blow to head to help comeback

By A.Sherrod Blakely

NEW YORK When you look at Ray Allen, rarely does the word "tough" come to mind.

But when you closely examine his game and see the way he bounces back despite the physical pounding he takes night in and night out, you realize that pound-for-pound, you would be hard-pressed to find a tougher Celtics player.

So to see him hit the Madison Square Garden floor, his hands covered in blood, no one would have been surprised if he didn't return.

But if you thought that, well, you don't know Ray Allen very well.

After a few minutes in the locker room getting patched up, Allen was back on the floor helping the Celtics rally for a 96-86 win over the New York Knicks on Monday night.

Allen suffered a cut near his right eye when he was hit with an inadvertent elbow from Jared Jeffries that required seven stitches to close; stitches Allen did not receive until the game was over.

"That's just Ray Allen," teammate Delonte West told "Ray's as tough as they come."

Allen acknowledged after the game that the blow from Jeffries was about as bad a shot as he's taken in the NBA.

"Even when I went down, it was pouring blood out," Allen recalled. "For that 15 minutes, an excruciating headache."

Allen eventually returned to the locker room to assess the damage, in addition to getting "my wits about me."

Even after he was patched up, Allen was still bleeding.

Still, he refused to allow the injury to keep him off the floor or from being a contributor.

"But it was better to be on the floor for me, than sitting back here," Allen said.

He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, but no basket bigger than his reverse lay-up with about five minutes to play that put the Celtics ahead, 84-82.

For the remainder of the game, the C's led for all but 19 seconds as they came away with a much-needed win.

So even with Kevin Garnett racking up his 25th double-double of the season (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (13 points, 12 assists) looking like his old self, and Paul Pierce delivering late-game dagger shots, it's hard to ignore the one guy who looked and played the role of tough guy -- Ray Allen.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Ainge: Isaiah Thomas visiting hip specialists, no decision yet on surgery

Ainge: Isaiah Thomas visiting hip specialists, no decision yet on surgery

BOSTON – The last 2 1/2 games for the Celtics have come without Isaiah Thomas (right hip) and it has certainly been a factor in Boston trailing Cleveland 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals heading into tonight’s must-win for the Celtics to keep their season alive.
There have been rumors that if the series with Cleveland were closer, maybe that would lead to a return to the floor for Thomas.
“No. No way. He’s done [this season],” Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s "Toucher & Rich" show this morning.
Ainge said there’s still swelling in the hip, and it probably won’t go down enough for doctors to make a determination whether surgery is needed for another couple weeks.

Thomas was in New York City earlier this week visiting a hip specialist. He's expected to consult with at least two more before making a decision as to what's the best course of treatment.
“Everybody agrees if there’s anything that needs to be done to it surgically, it helps...if the inflammation goes down,” Ainge said. “The recovery [time] would be quicker.”
The injury initially occurred on March 15 against Minnesota.
Ainge said he didn’t become too concerned about it until after Thomas re-aggravated it in Game 6 of the second-round series against Washington and was questionable to play in Game 7.
“I was worried going into the Cleveland series that he was nowhere near himself in Game 1 or 2,” Ainge said. “And Game 2 in the second quarter it was clear he was in a lot of pain. No way we could go out and allow him to play the second half.”
Boston was blown out 130-86 in Game 2. In the first half, Thomas had two points and six assists, while missing all six of his shots from the field.
Ainge said there was “a lot” of irritation and inflammation around the affected joint in Thomas' right hip.
“It had gotten worse from the MRIs he had before,” said Ainge, who added that it would have been “irresponsible to allow him to play anymore.”

Danny Ainge says Lonzo Ball has declined pre-draft workout with Celtics

Danny Ainge says Lonzo Ball has declined pre-draft workout with Celtics

BOSTON -- Like most NBA executives, Danny Ainge loves to get as much intel on players before picking them as he can.  
And with the No. 1 overall pick, Ainge knows he has to do all he can to absolutely get this one right.
That’s why any thoughts he had of drafting Lonzo Ball are likely out the window after the talented UCLA guard refused to work out for the Celtics.
“We tried to get him in for a workout and he politely said no,” Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show.
Lonzo Ball’s desire (or his dad Lavar Ball’s desire; hard to say who in the Ball camp wants him in L.A. the most) to play for the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the worst-kept secrets leading up to next month’s NBA draft.
And with the Lakers holding the No. 2 pick in the draft, turning down the Celtics only increases the likelihood of  Boston passing on him and instead drafting University of Washington star Markelle Fultz.
“It’s not ideal,” Ainge said of Ball's decision to decline working out for Boston. “Listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before. It’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We have a lot of information on them. Sometimes players don’t want to come in, not because they don’t like you, they see our roster. They think they would prefer to go to another team.”
The Celtics, like most teams, have been mum publicly as to who they would take in the draft. But all indications at this point in the process are pointing towards them selecting Fultz with the top overall selection.
And the fact that Ball, the projected number two pick even before the draft lottery order was established, refuses to work out for Boston will only increase the likelihood that Fultz will be a Celtic and Ball and his camp will get their wish which has always been to don a Los Angeles Lakers jersey.