Tony Allen helps to beat his former team


Tony Allen helps to beat his former team

By A.Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON Tony Allen tossed up a couple of air balls. He was out of position defensively at times. He made a tough shot around the basket, and finished off a steal with a layup. He bit on a head-fake.

It was vintage Allen at his finest and most frustrating -- all wrapped up into one game.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, their ex-teammate played well enough for the Grizzlies to escape Boston with a 90-87 win.

Allen, starting in place of former UConn star Rudy Gay, who is expected to miss the rest of the season and the playoffs, had eight points and seven rebounds.

Players often talk about their first game back against a former team as being just another game.

Allen wasn't going to go there.

As he made his way to the arena Wednesday afternoon, it finally sunk in that he was back in Boston as the enemy.

So when the final horn sounded and the Grizzlies had the victory, there was no masking his excitement and jubilation.

"I can't sit here and say I didn't want to win, this one felt a little different," Allen said. "I wanted to win this one more than anything."

While Allen's play as a Celtic often ran the gamut from maddening to marvelous, the Celtics were still confident -- too confident, actually -- that he would re-sign when he became a free agent last summer.

"I did think he was coming back," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I was surprised that he didn't. Obviously the negotiations got in the way, and that's why he didn't come back."

Rivers added, "in my mind, we probably assumed he would re-sign . . . and then you lose him."

With his new role, the 29-year-old Allen finds himself being called upon to be more of a leader.

And when he thinks about what he has to do in order to handle that job effectively, he quickly falls back on his days with the Celtics when he would see the leadership of the team's Big Three on a daily basis.

"I'm more vocal in Memphis, as if I was Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce," Allen said. "They were the most vocal guys here. I kind of just looked at what they were doing. They were the realest. If something was going wrong in a game, and they'd speak on it and don't let it get out of hand. That's pretty much what I do with our guys."

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

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, with crunch time coming in the NHL.

*Jack Todd says that the Hall of Fame needs to reserve a spot for Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov. Is he Hall of Fame material, or Hall of Very Good material?

*The playoff streak is coming to an end for Joe Louis Arena as the Detroit Red Wings finish out a lost season.

*Thanks to PHT writer James O’Brien for providing the kind of relaxing hockey moment that any dog lover could appreciate.

*Boston College standout Colin White has signed an amateur tryout deal with the Senators, but it remains to be seen if the entry level contract is coming.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mitch Melnick offers his hot takes about the Canadiens after a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

*The US men’s hockey team may join the women’s team in boycotting the world championships if there isn’t a resolution soon.

*A group of longtime Leafs writers share some of their best stories from the press box

*In the shameless interest of self-promotion, here’s my hit with Toucher and Rich this morning talking about riding the hot hand with Anton Khudobin.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers wonders if a lopsided loss will snap the Blackhawks out of their malaise.

*Sidney Crosby fires back at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk after he called the NHL star a whiner recently.

*For something completely different: getting to know new baseball analyst John Kruk, who we all should know pretty well at this point.



Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

BOSTON –  Like most of the NBA’s Millennials, Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is active on social media.

But if you holla at him on Twitter or Instagram these days, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back anytime soon.
That’s because Brown is stepping away from the social media game to better focus on his first postseason journey with the Celtics, which begins next month.
Brown said he isn’t the only player inside the Celtics locker room who has pledged to do things differently leading up to the playoffs.
More than anything, the changes Brown speaks of are symbolic to illustrate the need for everyone to make sacrifices critical for a team’s success.
“I’ve paid attention to that, how a lot of guys are making the sacrifices necessary to add to this team,” Brown said. “Some guys are only drinking water. Some guys are cutting out cursing or other aspects. Some guys have some personal stuff...Everybody is putting themselves in that mind frame to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.”
He added that taking a step back from social media was just one of a handful of changes he has made leading up to the playoffs.
“Some are personal, but some, just being a lot more focused and more locked in, eliminating distractions,” Brown told “This generation, we’re so social media dependent. So just eliminating that, filling that in with other stuff whether it’s gym time or film or just time to yourself instead of it being so predicated on the cell phone.”
Brown understands the battle Boston (48-26) is in for the top spot in the East heading into the playoffs and how important getting that would be to this team.

“It means a lot, especially being a rookie from my perspective, being on a team that’s number one seed in the East and being a contributor.” Brown said. “What more could you ask for, coming in to the league, coming into the NBA. It’s been great for me. It’s been a blessing.”
While Brown has had his share of ups and downs as a rookie, there’s no ignoring the fact that he’s progressing at a brisk rate.

“Offensively, I’m getting a little more comfortable scoring the ball; mid-range game, I’m developing,” he said. “Defensively, being in the right spot at the right time, stuff like that. I’ve come a long way and I still have a long way to go.”