Celtics' Allen exercises 2011-12 contract option

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Celtics' Allen exercises 2011-12 contract option

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Ray Allen made official on Tuesday what we've all known for some time now.

He is a Boston Celtic.

Allen exercised the second-year option on his contract to remain a Celtic for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

The former UConn star averaged 16.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season and was named to his 10th All-Star team, which was his third (in four seasons) with the Celtics.

The veteran guard, who currently ranks 24th all-time in NBA history in career points scored (22,286), could have tested the free-agent waters this summer.

However, there were far too many reasons for him to remain in Boston.

For starters, there's the 10 million contract that he would be walking away from. As good as Allen was last season, there's no telling if any other team would be willing to pay him that kind of money.

And when you throw in the fact that the yet-to-be-hammered-out Collective Bargaining Agreement among the player's union and the owners will likely include lowered salaries, that adds even more uncertainty to the kind of salary a veteran with his talents could have demanded.

Maybe even more significant than the money is Allen's role with the Celtics.

Allen has developed a close relationship with the franchise and its fan base. It's not an uncommon thing for him and Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, to play golf during the offseason or on days off during the early part of the season.

But ultimately it comes down to how he performs. And this past season, one with so many guys struggling with their play or injuries, Allen was a steady force.

In addition, Allen's ability to shoot so well from 3-point range is a distinction that sets him apart from the other five players currently under contract for next season.

In fact, this past season Allen shot a career-best 44 percent and became the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made when he passed Indiana Pacers great Reggie Miller on Feb. 11 - a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in which Miller, who works for TNT, was in attendance working as an analyst.

Even with Allen back in the fold, the Celtics will be hard-pressed to remain among the elite teams in the Eastern Conference.

But it's a challenge that Allen - and the C's - are eager to tackle.

"We found different ways to rise from the ashes, so to speak," Allen said during the C's most recent playoff series against the Miami Heat. "Winning championships, there's never a clear-cut formula how to do it."

But having a shooter like Allen on your roster, can only help.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Crowder on Wizards' all-black 'funeral' plans for Celtics: 'That's cute!'

Crowder on Wizards' all-black 'funeral' plans for Celtics: 'That's cute!'

The Washington Wizards plan to roll into tonight’s game against the Celtics donning all-black clothes, as in a funeral procession, a sign of solidarity and an omen of sorts for a game that they hope ends with them burying the Celtics.
 
When Jae Crowder was asked about the Wizards all-black gear, his initial response...“That’s cute!”
 
More than anything, the Wizards (24-20) are putting a significant amount of value into tonight’s game. A victory would extend their home winning streak to 14.

Meanwhile, the Celtics (26-17) come in looking to snap a two-game losing streak.
 
“This is definitely not Game 7 or the playoffs,” said Isaiah Thomas. “But if they want to take it that serious, they can.”
 
The idea to arrive at the Verizon Center donning all-black was hatched by Bradley Beal, who has some contentious moments, to say the least, with the Celtics recently.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens knows all about the funeral talk which to him is just that, talk. He’s more concerned with his team doing what they need to do in order to win.
 
Nothing more.
 
Nothing less.
 
“At the end of the day, good basketball teams are physical,” he said. “There’s a line you don’t want to cross. Ultimately, you have to be appropriately physical at a high level. It’s about playing well, focus on your next task at hand. This is a great opportunity to see where we’re at.”

In the Celtics' 117-108 win over the Wizards on Jan. 11, Beal was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul after getting into it with Marcus Smart.
 
Last season, Beal was on the receiving end of a left forearm to the face from Smart, who was driving to the basket at the time. The blow resulted in a broken nose for Beal in addition to spending time in the league’s concussion protocol program.
 
And then there’s his backcourt mate John Wall.
 
He was fined $15,000 for his role in a postgame incident with Jae Crowder (who was fined $25,000). Crowder pushed Wall’s nose with his finger, which led to Wall retaliating with a slap towards Crowder’s face.
 
And when the two met back on Nov. 9, Wall was hit with a flagrant-2 foul (an automatic ejection) when he threw Smart down hard to floor in the final moments of a Wizards win.
 
The Celtics have a few games that have become more physical than others recently, but there’s something about this Celtics-Wizards matchup that brings out an elevated level of feistiness.
 
“It’s just all talk; that’s all it is,” Thomas said. “I guess they taking it and running with it. I don’t know what it is. I [saw] the funeral and the all-black thing last night and I just laughed about it. We’ll be there tonight for a game, not a funeral.”
 

WATCH: Celtics vs. Wizards

WATCH: Celtics vs. Wizards

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