OFFSEASON

Allen returns from blow to head to help comeback

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Allen returns from blow to head to help comeback

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK When you look at Ray Allen, rarely does the word "tough" come to mind.

But when you closely examine his game and see the way he bounces back despite the physical pounding he takes night in and night out, you realize that pound-for-pound, you would be hard-pressed to find a tougher Celtics player.

So to see him hit the Madison Square Garden floor, his hands covered in blood, no one would have been surprised if he didn't return.

But if you thought that, well, you don't know Ray Allen very well.

After a few minutes in the locker room getting patched up, Allen was back on the floor helping the Celtics rally for a 96-86 win over the New York Knicks on Monday night.

Allen suffered a cut near his right eye when he was hit with an inadvertent elbow from Jared Jeffries that required seven stitches to close; stitches Allen did not receive until the game was over.

"That's just Ray Allen," teammate Delonte West told CSNNE.com. "Ray's as tough as they come."

Allen acknowledged after the game that the blow from Jeffries was about as bad a shot as he's taken in the NBA.

"Even when I went down, it was pouring blood out," Allen recalled. "For that 15 minutes, an excruciating headache."

Allen eventually returned to the locker room to assess the damage, in addition to getting "my wits about me."

Even after he was patched up, Allen was still bleeding.

Still, he refused to allow the injury to keep him off the floor or from being a contributor.

"But it was better to be on the floor for me, than sitting back here," Allen said.

He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, but no basket bigger than his reverse lay-up with about five minutes to play that put the Celtics ahead, 84-82.

For the remainder of the game, the C's led for all but 19 seconds as they came away with a much-needed win.

So even with Kevin Garnett racking up his 25th double-double of the season (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (13 points, 12 assists) looking like his old self, and Paul Pierce delivering late-game dagger shots, it's hard to ignore the one guy who looked and played the role of tough guy -- Ray Allen.

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

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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

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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.