Jet landing; Ray out?

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Jet landing; Ray out?

At this point, we'll all feel pretty stupid if Jason Terry ends up back in Dallas. But for the sake of the Internet, let's just assume for a second that Terry's deal is done and the Mavs aren't going to match. Translation: Boston has a new sixth man.

Here's a random question: Is it possible for a player to win Sixth Man of the Year if he's not technically the first guy off the bench? Because regardless of how much or how well Terry plays this season, the "Sixth Man" will be Greg Stiemsma, Chris Wilcox, JaJuan Johnson, Chris Kaman, Brandon Bass, Marlon Wayans or whoever Doc substitutes for KG at the seven-minute mark.

But when you talk about the real sixth man of the 2012-2013 (yikes) Boston Celtics, you'll be talking about Terry.

And we will be . . . unless Dallas pulls a fast one and welcomes The Jet back to D-Town. (Do people even call it D-Town? I'm not sure where that came from).

Anyway, with the Terry news, it's only fair to wonder: Where does this leave the Celtics and Ray Allen?

Well, financially, it's still very possible that Boston brings Ray back. In basketball terms, it makes sense too especially when Avery Bradley's going to be in a race against the clock in his recovery from shoulder surgery. Who knows, depending on how it goes with Bradley, maybe Allen kicks off the season as the Celtics starting shooting guard (with Terry in his comfortable role as sixth man). That's some fine insurance right there, and you know that's what the Celtics are thinking.

But what happens ifwhen Avery Bradley's healthy? Him and Rondo are the backcourt of the present and future and it would be a mistake to break that up. In this case, you'll have Rondo playing at least 35 minutes a night, Bradley out there for about 32 and not so much extra burn for both Allen and Terry. Then what happens? With all due respect to Ray, if he was cranky about his role on last year's team, he'll definitely be cranky this year. In which case, he'll want a trade, or the Celtics will want a trade, and we'll be right back where we were last March. No one wants that.

Doesn't Ray Allen's situation remind you a little of Kevin Youkilis?

Don't you think there's a chance it could have the same kind of draining effect on that Celtics locker room? I do. So that's why even though the cap allows even encourages the Celtics to make room Ray Allen, I don't think it's a good idea.

I think it's time to move on. Unfortunately, I don't think the Celtics agree.

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

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

WALTHAM, Mass. – When it comes to NBA standings, no Celtic pays closer attention to it than Isaiah Thomas.
 
But the 5-foot-9 All-Star is quick to say that while he’s aware of what’s happening with other teams record-wise, Thomas, like his teammates, isn’t obsessed with it, even with the Celtics (48-26) now in first place in the East following Cleveland’s loss at San Antonio on Monday.
 
“It’s a good feeling,” Thomas said. “It’s still not the end of the year; anything can happen. It’s a nice feeling to be the number one seed for once, but we just have to continue to control what we can control.”

The fact that Boston is even in position to finish with the best record in the East is amazing when you consider injuries and illnesses have forced them to use 13 different starting lineups this season.
 
And the preferred starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Amir Johnson has played together 31 times and posted an impressive 24-7 record.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been consistent in his message that while having the best record in the East is nice, he’s more consumed with the team continuing to improve.
 
“It doesn’t mean a whole lot right now,” Stevens said of being in first place. “The whole idea is to make progress, get better every day and stay in the moment. You do that if you’re in last place trying to build up or whether you’re in a position where you’re fighting for seeding. Ultimately, we’ve been able to grow and get a little bit better. But I still think we can play a lot better. That’s where my focus is.”
 
And the same holds true for his players. Thomas knows how unusual this season has been for the Celtics, who continue finding ways to win despite frequently being short-handed.
 
The latest example of that involves forward Jonas Jerebko, who is questionable for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee because of a sore left knee that limited him in Tuesday’s practice.
 
“It’s a long season. A lot of things can happen whether they be good or bad and we know that,” Thomas said. “We just try to withstand the storm we’ve had a few times this year, and continue to try and stay as positive as possible and we’ve done that. We’re in a good position right now. We just have to continue to take care of business.”
  
And that means steadily improving while piling up the wins, particularly against teams such as the Bucks (37-36), who are among a handful of teams that could potentially be Boston’s first-round opponent.
 
Milwaukee comes in having won 11 of its past 14 games.

“It makes the game that much more important,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “Just like the Miami game. We want to let the teams know now, they go up against us in the playoffs, it’s no mercy. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to bring it every single night. We’re going to play Celtics basketball every single night. Them knowing that, we can scare a lot of teams if we’re playing the right way.”

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics have spent most of this season playing short-handed and Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee will potentially be another one of those games.
 
Veteran forward Jonas Jerebko has a sore left knee and is considered questionable for the Bucks’ game.
 
“Jonas went through about half of [Tuesday’s] practice,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
 
Jerebko has missed two games this season due to illness.
 
Because of Milwaukee’s length at seemingly every position, Jerebko’s ability to play both forward positions will be something the Celtics will surely miss if he’s unable to play.
 
This season, Jerebko has appeared in 69 games while averaging 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 35.0 percent on 3’s.