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Friday Notebook: Ray Allen Willing To Come Off Bench, Frank Passed Over For Raptors Job

 

A few odds and ends at the end of a quiet news week, as we patiently wait for things to ramp up again for the NBA Draft Thursday night (7 p.m. ESPN).

We’ll start with telling quotes from C’s stud shooting guard Ray Allen, who spoke with the media at length yesterday in Dorchester during a community outing. As always Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com was on the scene and came through with a few telling nuggets from Ray:

* On the possibility of coming off the bench next season: “To me, however I can help the team, it’ll figure itself out. One thing in regards to Jeff [Green] is, whatever I can do to make him better and to push him and play the best that he can. It’s weird that guys have always looked at it like coming off the bench is such a bad thing. I know we went through the situation with [Allen] Iverson, he didn’t want to come off the bench. But, you’ve always worried more about who finished games, but more importantly, when you’re on a winning team, winning the game is the ultimate objective, so that’s my primary concern. I want to win. I looked at our record this year. It was sad that we didn’t get to 60 wins, and we should have had 60 wins, based on the games we lost, and that would have gave us home-court advantage throughout the whole playoffs, East and West.”

The starting lineup situation is interesting. It’s obviously helpful that Ray would be willing to come off the pine, (Paul Pierce has stayed silent on the matter thus far). On paper though, The Truth would positionally the guy that makes the most sense to be the sixth ma if a move is made, given the personnel the C’s are expected to be dealing with. Now, would starting PP at shooting guard and Green at small forward be a feasible situation? That’s a discussion for another day, but all signs point to no. For now, unless the C’s make a big splash (a la J.R. Smith) at the two spot in free agency, you can count on penciling Ray into the starting two spot. It’s certainly a situation not worth getting too worked up over.

* On being confident in exercising his $10 million player option for next season: “Yeah, I didn’t flinch too much about it. I think about the teams around the league that potentially I could have went to and it, again, it’s like you look at what we have and it’s too valuable. Being in this situation is too valuable, you can’t let it go. But, again, it’s like that saying. We used to say, ‘We’re the better team,’ and you have to prove it. You can’t just keep talking about it. When you see a situation like that, we’ve clamored all our careers for being on teams where guys that can play and that can help you win games, so you don’t give it away that easy.”

All of this is true, but it’s also pretty clear that despite his stellar season, there is no way Ray would have earned 10 milion dollars anywhere else next season once the new CBA goes into effect. It’s a fair deal for both sides, but don’t make the mistake of thinking Allen is giving Boston a discount.

On Final Four Playoff Teams This Year: “Most of the time, watching the Eastern Conference finals, just knowing that we were, and still [are], in my opinion, better than most of those teams that played. We lost to Dallas twice this year, but we still liked our chances against them. It was just us playing our best basketball. A kid asked me earlier, who was the toughest opponent that we had to face, and I said it was ourselves.”

That last quote is very telling. This team was painfully out of sync for the majority of the final three months. I’ll reflect more on this next week, but this isn’t the first time a member of the C’s has hinted a potential “chemistry” problems.

In other news, the ongoing Lawrence Frank saga continues, however the possibility appears to be stronger than ever that the terrific top lieutenant will find his way back to Boston for one more year. Marc Stein has the report that Dwane Casey has emerged as the frontrunner:

Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey has emerged as the clear favorite to land the Toronto Raptors’ coaching job and could be installed as the team’s new coach by next week, according to sources close to the situation.

The Raptors began the week having narrowed their search for a successor to Jay Triano down to the former Minnesota Timberwolves coach and Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank. But Toronto has since zeroed in on Casey after interviews with both men this week, drawn largely to Casey’s success as the defensive coordinator for a Mavericks team that just won the first championship in franchise history.

The revelation brings the potential top openings for Frank down to just one in Detroit, where also according to Stein, Frank interviewed on Wednesday.

Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank interviewed Wednesday for the Detroit Pistons’ coaching vacancy, according to NBA coaching sources… The Pistons have likewise requested permission from the Dallas Mavericks to interview assistant coach Dwane Casey, who was taking part Thursday in the Mavericks’ championship parade in Dallas.

Frank, formerly coach of the New Jersey Nets, is the second candidate to be formally interviewed for the position, sources said, joining former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson.

Bill Laimbeer and Kelvin Sampson are also reportedly candidates, in addition to Frank and Woodson. Here’s hoping the Pistons, who have a strong recent history of butchering their choices in coaches and free agent signings, make another mistake and pass over a guy like Frank, which would allow the C’s to reap the benefits of his abilities for one more year.

  • johnschaffer

    rather have frank stay with celtics , we will need help this year and hes good , hope they get some good draft picks , go celtics already looking for next year

  • James Patrick

    Still not sold on Green, but props to Ray. I hope he's a Celtic for life because he is everything a Celtic is. Selfless and all about the team. I'd go as far as to say I hope they retire his number someday. But they'd probably have to win a couple of more titles for that to happen.

  • Batman

    Delonte at the 2? but that wouldn't really be too much of an upgrade over Ray

  • Avinash

    I dont think that would be an upgrade at all. Pierce at the 2 and Green at the 3 would definitely help the rebounding but Allen is too essential to the offence to come of the bench. I dont see Pierce really coming off the bench either so its gonna have to be Green. Think about it, if we do re-sign Baby the bench could would be pretty good with West, Wafer, Green, Davis and hopefully a good rebounding rookie that the C's can pick up.

    Now all we need is to sign a center like Dalembert who can start from day 1 and Jermaine O'Neal could then play less minutes and form a sick bench with the above mentioned dudes.

  • skeeds

    again with the starting lineup. I get how it hurts people's ego, but seriously, what's the deal? Pierce can be a devastating offensive weapon at any time. He's not a "streaky" shooter, he doesn't need to get "hot", and he is the quintessential triple threat. Great pick n roll player, great 1-1 player. Who cares if he starts? He, for one, shouldn't.
    Jason Terry or Manu Ginobili got their teams rings coming off the bench. The Mavs offence in these playoffs never ran out of steam, exactly because Terry and Nowitzki (along with that beast Barea) were coming on and off the court at different times, changing the lineups and attacking differently and all over the place. Meanwhile our one persisting problem is that "2nd unit", blowing double digit leads and being unable to score.
    Doc is a hardcore fixed lineup guy, but he has to be more flexible. We can't survive on our big 3 any more, we need more evenly spread out minutes, and production from everyone. Who steps on the floor first is of no importance. at all.

  • Avinash

    I dont think its ego as much as it is about mindset, as a starter you need to have a balanced mindset but when you step on the court of the bench you usually have a set role to adhere to and certain tasks to perform. The change in roles helps some people but really messes with others.

    With that being said I do agree that Pierce would be the best player to have of the bench but it isnt worth the risk of seeing his performance drop. The last thing we need is for someone from the big 3 to disappear.

    As for the second unit blowing leads, having a reliable scorer coming off the bench would help but it wouldnt solve the problem. Doc needs to learn to manage his second unit better (as blasphemous as it is to criticize Doc). The offence wouldnt be a problem for them if the bench could play good D (in the Celtic system the defense creates the offence), getting Dalembert would mean O'neal coming off the bench thereby instantly improving the D. West is a reliable defender and so is Von Wafer, Green needs to learn to use his body better on D and rebound better and well be all set, think about it.

  • Wadefan

    Why is there even discussion about Green starting? Pierce and Ray are both better.

  • lakershater13

    LA has Odom coming off the bench…he plays well, Dallas has Terry coming off the bench…he plays well, and San Antonio has Ginobili coming off the bench…also plays well. So I dont see the issue of Allen or Pierce coming off the bench and worrying about them playing poorly. With Pierce or Allen coming off the bench you have an allstar coming in the game with fresh legs against either a tired defender or a bench player for the other team. Either way I like the Pierce or Allen to play well in that situation. Those two guys are not going to play another ten years. Lets see if Green can become a solid player on a team full of vets. In OKC green was another kid surrounded by other kids. No vets to help develop him. Give Green a chance with a full season with the Celtics and lets see what he can do. Remember no matter who starts you know Pierce and Allen will be finishing the game in close games. Thats all that really matters.

  • Avinash

    I agree with you but I feel that Allen is too essential to the teams half court sets when it comes to the offence. Not only does he stretch the D by running around the picks but they open up lanes for Rondo and the iso post for KG. If Jermaine O neal starts playing well he would become a similar threat as KG in those situations. If someone has to be chosen to come of the bench I would def think its Pierce as having the captain come gives the bench players a lot more assurance and I dont know many second string forwards that can guard Pierce good enough, meaning more double teams and easier looks for the bench.

    Still, like I said before it has a lot to do with mentality and seeing who can get accustomed to their new role. Odom is a pretty laid back and seemingly unambitious guy (just my personal opinion) and Ginobili is someone who has that team first mentality. This helps them both assimilate to their roles on the bench, Pierce happens to be neither. This is the same guy that called himself the best player in the world after his team won the championship and I dont think he would accept coming off the bench, as beneficial as it may be I just dont see it happening.

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