Allen makes necessary adjustments


Allen makes necessary adjustments

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - When Ray Allens signature long-range shot wasnt falling, he went with Plan B.

That decision helped the Celtics beat the Pacers, 99-88, on Sunday afternoon.

Allen hit his first three-point bucket with four minutes to go in the second quarter. But as his next four attempts didnt drop, he changed his course.

Showing his veteran discipline, Allen passed on the trey and drove the lane instead. Only three of his 17 points came from beyond the arc (8-16 FG).

The last time Allen shot 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, he finished with just nine points. Sundays performance was the most points he has scored all season when only making one three-point shot.

I just had to go to the hole, Allen said. I missed a couple shots that seemed like they were right on, but I did sense the urgency to take me off the three-point ball. So when I was coming up, I was just trying to get to the hole because there were gaps there.

Allen provided one of the highlights of the game with a fastbreak layup that froze Mike Dunleavy in his tracks. While the play was something typical of a speedy point guard, it was part of Allens plan of attack.

"It's just, I'm not the guy that always has the ball in his hands, he said. I'm known for what I've been doing while in this role. But my whole career, I've had to create opportunities for myself, be a playmaker for other guys on the team, try to get other guys involved. I don't have to do that as much this year. (Rajon) Rondo is a guy who is the creator here on the team, but we still have to be able to make plays with each other.

Just as Allen adjusted his own offense against the Pacers, he has also adjusted the way he plays within the team with Rondo sidelined (ankle). He dished six assists for the second consecutive game, nearly two more than his season average of 4.2.

And with Paul Pierce playing the role of point-forward, Allen jumped in when needed.

You know, it was funny, I think it was three minutes left, you could see he (Pierce) was getting tired, so you had Ray bringing it up a couple times, said Doc Rivers.

Ball handling, fastbreak layups - theyre not moves commonly associated with Allen. But after making the necessary adjustments, the end results very familiar to him - a win.

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”