Allen doing his job despite taking fewer shots


Allen doing his job despite taking fewer shots

By A.Sherrod Blakely

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 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 Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.