OFFSEASON

Allen doing his job despite taking fewer shots

191544.jpg

Allen doing his job despite taking fewer shots

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK You hear the Boston Celtics players and coaches talk about it all the time.

Great ball movement makes winning easier. Great ball movement usually involves getting the ball in the hands of Ray Allen.

Despite the Celtics leading the New York Knicks 2-0 in their best-of-seven first-round series, it's clear that Allen isn't touching the ball nearly as much as he's used to.

During the regular season, Allen averaged shot a career-best 49.1 percent from the field while attempting 12.2 attempts per game.

Although he is Boston's top scorer in the playoffs with a 21 points per game average, he has done it despite taking fewer shots (23) than any of the Celtics Big Four.

One of the areas the C's have identified as needing some improvement in Game 3 on Friday night, is their slow starts to games.

In the first half of Games 1 and 2, New York has actually outscored the Celtics in both games by a combined 13 points.

And in the first half of those games, Allen has only attempted a total of seven shots with four makes.

While Allen recognizes that he's not getting the ball early games, it's not something he's concerned about or has given much thought to.

"However the flow of the game is going, you just have to follow it and you have to stick with it," said Allen, who is shooting 65 percent from the field in the first two games. "At this point, I don't worry about shots."

That's because the C's are playing the defensively-challenged Knicks who are bound to leave someone open for a good shot.

"I know their game plan they don't want me to get any shots," Allen said. "So if they can keep me off shooting the ball, they've done their job."

And Allen, despite fewer attempts, continues to do his job which is to spread the floor when given an opportunity.

But if the Knicks try and take that away, he has shown no hesitation in putting the ball on the floor and driving to the basket.

"Ray's always been more than just a 3-point shooter," Knicks guard Chauncey Billups told CSNNE.com earlier. "I mean, he's one of the greatest, maybe the greatest, ever at shooting 3-pointers. But you can't just play him looking for that all day. He can do some other things too, that can hurt you."

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

OFFSEASON

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

milwaukee-bucks-larry-sanders.jpg

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

Veteran forward Larry Sanders, who hasn’t played since December of 2014, has taken to Twitter to get feedback on “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?”

So far, it’s his last team, the Milwaukee Bucks leading, with the Celtics edging the Cavaliers for second place.  

Sanders, 27, has been away from basketball after two drug-related suspensions and issues with anxiety and depression led him to accept a buyout from the Bucks.  The 6-11 Sanders was a solid rim protector. He averaged 1.8 blocks a game in his career. Could the Celtics, with an already crowded roster, take a flyer on him as a low-cost option? 
 

OFFSEASON

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

michael-jordan.jpg

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

By Dan Feldman, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Michael Jordan might have never said “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

But that quote has defined him politically.

Whether the perception has been fair or not, he’s clearly trying to change it.

Jordan in ESPN's The Undefeated:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

You can read Jordan’s full statement here.