How badly does Ray want to play?

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How badly does Ray want to play?

Until the dust settles on this NBA off-season, we'll continue to wonder about the immediate future of two-thirds of Boston's Hall of Fame Big Three.

In the case of Kevin Garnett, it's seemingly a matter of whether he wants to play at all. Of course, nothing's set in stone and KG's not returning my calls but we're all pretty comfortable in assuming that it will be Boston or bust. Then again, who knows? He's the one who taught us that anything's possible.

But for the other third of the Big Three, the desire to play is not an issue. With Ray Allen it's just about where he wants to play, how much he wants to play, whether's he ready to rough out the rest of his career coming off the bench in Boston (OK, it's not happening) or seek grner pastures andor more minutes elsewhere. But just in case you were unsure of how badly Allen wants to return for a 17th NBA season, here's some news to help the hammer home the point.

According to the Boston Herald, Allen is wasting no time in having surgery on his gimpy right ankle. He'll have his bone spurs removed first thing Wednesday morning.

No word yet on the recovery time, but the early surgery should leave Allen with plenty of time to get a jump on the Miami real estate market ensure he's in prime shape for the start of next season, regardless of which uniform he's wearing.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Tyronn Lue says Celtics harder to defend than Warriors: 'They're running all kinds of s---'

Tyronn Lue says Celtics harder to defend than Warriors: 'They're running all kinds of s---'

The Golden State Warriors are the least of Tyronn Lue's worries, Cleveland Cavaliers coach explained Tuesday.

Even though Lue and the Cavs are up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, he is apparently overwhelmed with the Boston Celtics to the point where he isn't even thinking about Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the 67-win Warriors.

"We're just focused on Boston," Lue said of the Warriors following the Cavs' Game 4 win, via ESPN.com. "The stuff they're running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's [offense] for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing."

No, seriously.

"Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff, but these guys are running all kinds of s---," Lue said of Boston coach Brad Stevens' schemes. "I'll be like, 'F---.' They're running all kinds of s---, man. And Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. It's tough, you know, it's tough."

Without Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics finished Game 4 with four players who had 15 points or more. They also had six players who scored double digits in Boston's Game 3 win. Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder and Al Horford have made heavy offensive contributions. And they not just scoring. The Celtics are working hard off the ball by setting screens and cutting to the hoop to pressure the Cavaliers defense.

The Celtics may not have the Warriors' star power -- but Stevens and Boston are still managing to leave Lue in a state of clear befuddlement after a win.

LeBron James praised Stevens more directly when discussing how the Celtics "run different things" after losing Thomas to injury.

"So they had to kind of reshape, and that’s the beauty of having Brad Stevens as your coach," James told reporters. "You’re able to reshape what you do offensively and still be in a good rhythm. It’s been challenging for us to kind of — plays out of time-out, kind of been killing us on ATOs and keeping us off balance, but in the second half we kind of got a little bit of rhythm, and think we’ll be better in Game 5."