Allen wasn't sure he could face Warriors


Allen wasn't sure he could face Warriors

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - In addition to being the best 3-point shooter in NBA history, it turns out Ray Allen is also a master of deception.

After scoring 27 points, including 5 treys, against the Golden State Warriors on Friday, Allen revealed he was battling a sore right knee and questioned if he would be able to play.

"I just had a little bit of soreness in there that I worked through over the last day-and-a-half," he said. "Coming in this morning, it felt similar and I was kind of taking it hour-by-hour and seeing how it felt when I got down here. And when I got down here, it felt better.

Allen did not practice on Thursday and came to the TD Garden prepared to sit out. His gray suit, he pointed out, was not a fashion statement.

"This morning I just came in and got treatment and just tried to play it by ear, he said. That's why I have a suit on, in case I was on the bench. I honestly thought when I came down here, there might be a chance. But I came down here as usual to be ready to play.

On a team hobbled by injuries, Allen is one of just two Celtics who have played in all 60 games this season. (Paul Pierce is the other.)

There was no letting up for Allen on Friday, either. He played 39 minutes against the Warriors as a result of a nearly-blown lead. The departure of Von Wafer (calf) also forced him to stay on the court.

Yet in spite of his knee, Allen appeared to breeze through nearly 40 minutes on the court (9-13 FG, 5-8 3PG, 4-5 FT).

Hes just an amazing shooter. He really is, said Doc Rivers. And whats more amazing is how many times hes wide open. Its remarkable when you think about it. The Reggie Millers, Ive been on teams where before the game the coach says, Do not give this guy an open shot. And you turn around and hes standing there all by himself. Its just amazing how they find open spots.

In typical Allen fashion, as one of the most disciplined players in the NBA, he found his way on the court as well.

It's hard from one day to the next, and then the day before say, 'I'm not playing tomorrow' because you feel a little soreness, he said. You have to get in there and really put your body to the test and get it better. I got treatment and ice and by the time I got down here, I shot and felt a lot better. And here I am."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.

Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice


Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice

BOSTON - The Celtics got a bit of good news on the injury front with Kelly Olynyk being cleared for full contact.
The 7-foot center participated in most of the Celtics’ drills on Saturday, some of which included contact.
Olynyk said he had been doing some contact work prior to practice Saturday, but in a more controlled setting.
“I’m just trying to ramp it up a little bit more, every day,” Olynyk said. “Just trying to take a step in the right direction every day.”
Olynyk had surgery on his right shoulder in May with him expected to be out for at least five months.
Danny Ainge, C's president of basketball operations, recently said that he anticipated Olynyk returning sometime in the middle of November.
That would put his return about six months out from the time of surgery.

“He did a lot more than he has done,” coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll see how he feels and progress at the appropriate rate after that.”
One of the strengths that Olynyk brought to the floor when he played was the ability to help space the floor because of his 3-point shooting.
Olynyk was not just a good 3-point shooter for a center, but one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA last season when he connected on 40.5 percent of his 3s last season.  And it’s clear that last season was not a fluke, evident by him shooting 37.3 percent on 3s for his career.
However, the addition of Al Horford not only solidified the Celtics’ interior defense but also provides them with another stretch center.
Horford, who spent the past nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, shot 34 percent on 3s last season which at the very least, makes him a player that defenses have to respect when he’s outside of the 3-point line.