Redick keeps Allen from getting 3-point record


Redick keeps Allen from getting 3-point record

By JessicaCamerato

BOSTON -- Ray Allen entered Sundays game against the Orlando Magic six 3-pointers shy of breaking the all-time record.

J.J. Redick would do his best to make sure it wasnt shattered on his watch.

Redick is one of the few players in the league who can effectively defend Allen on the perimeter. It's something he's been working on since he was at Duke University, studying up on Allen, Reggie Miller, and Rip Hamilton.

You have to keep a body attached to him at all times, Redick told prior to the Celtics' 91-80 win over the Magic. They run a lot of catch-and-shoot sets for him and they screen really well. It's a very difficult task for anybody because he is a great player moving without the ball. When you combine that with Rajon Rondo's passing and their big guys screening, it's tough.

Redick finds the task of guarding Allen to be more mental than physical. After playing the Celtics frequently during the regular season and facing them in the past two postseasons, he has familiarized himself with the Celtics sets.

Allen shot 19 percent (8-for-42) from 3-point range during the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Magic, including two straight games without a trey. Last season he shot 42 percent from long-range in the Eastern Conference Finals, but shot 0-for-5 and 1-for-3 during certain games in the series.

A lot of it is kind of memorizing their plays and knowing what's coming, Redick said. You have to have an awareness of what their plays are. You really have to lock in because they run a lot of misdirection. If you know it's coming, you can really be locked into him.

Allen notices Redicks attentiveness to him. He shot 2-for-4 from long-range on Sunday, now four treys away from the record.

Hes trying to force me over certain ways, Allen told But there isnt a great deal of pressure on me to shoot the ball every time. Just make the right play.

Redick hoped that Allen would not break the record against the Magic. Now that Allen is on the next opponent, though, Redick looks forward to him claiming the mark.

I know he will break that record at some point, and congrats to him, said Redick. He is, I think, the greatest shooter ever.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Horford's all-around play key in first regular season game with Celtics

Horford's all-around play key in first regular season game with Celtics

BOSTON – The Al Horford love fest continues with the veteran big man delivering yet another impressive performance for the Boston Celtics.

And this one?

Unlike his play in the preseason, Wednesday night's game counts.

Horford’s all-around play was pivotal to Boston holding on for a 122-117 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

CELTICS 122, NETS 117:

The four-time All-Star made several high-basketball IQ-type plays that in hindsight, were major key moments in Boston pushing its lead to as many as 23 points.

In the third quarter with Boston ahead 71-65, Horford took advantage of Brooklyn closing out too hard on him and drove into the lane. As the Nets defenders collapsed to take away a shot attempt in the lane, Horford swung the ball to Jae Crowder whose jumper triggered a 14-5 run.

Boston would lead by double figures until the last couple of minutes of the game.

“We have to keep playing the right way, for 48 minutes,” Horford said when asked about the team’s late-game collapse.

The late-game struggles aside, there was a lot to like about how the Celtics played throughout the first 40 minutes.

And a big part of that strong play has to be credited to Horford whose ability to help keep the ball moving allowed the Celtics to finish with 36 assists on 48 made field goals, the kind of opening night assist numbers that haven’t been seen around these parts in decades.

Horford was among those getting into the act, scoring 11 points to go with five rebounds and six assists.

To see him racking up guard-like assist numbers isn’t unusual when you consider he was third in the league last season in assists per game (3.2) for a center.

“Guys were moving the ball very well,” Horford said. “It’s kind of contagious.”

Said Crowder: “I never saw coaches clap on a three-second call. We moved the ball in the first quarter so much we got a three-second call. We passed up a lot of open shots. It just shows how unselfish we are playing as a unit.”

And while that selfless brand of basketball was on display at times last season, the addition of Horford seems to have taken it to another level.

“He opens the floor, he makes it easier for everybody; he’s always in the right spots, he’s a threat at all times,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “He can hit the 3, hit the mid-range, and also post up so he has the full package; a guy that makes it easy for everybody.”