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Ray Allen Returns To Rare C’s Practice

The Celtics practiced inside their Waltham Facility today for the first time since the All-Star Break, and in all likelihood, the last time until the playoffs.  Best news of the day?  Ray Allen was on the floor and felt good.

Allen, “My legs felt great today.  I had a shot in the ankle on game day the other day, and I had all day to let it maneuver through my body, and today when I walked in, I felt like I had two new wheels.”

But will he play for the first time since March 22nd tomorrow night against the San Antonio Spurs?  Here is what Doc Rivers had to say about that.  “Ray went through the entire practice, that still doesn’t mean he will play tomorrow.  Because the practice could effect his ankle and he can’t play tomorrow, so… but right now he’s playing.”

The Celtics are 5-1 playing without Allen recently and riding a 5 game winning streak as they hit the stretch run of the season.  (14 games left with the next 11 over a 14 day span).  Avery Bradley has started in place of Allen and is gaining more confidence by the game.  He’s averaging 14.6 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game during the recent winning streak.  But it didn’t take Doc long to answer the question on whether or not Ray would be in the starting lineup on his return.

Reporter, “If Ray does play, do you plan to start him?”

Doc, “Yeah, I do.”

Ok then.  Although Doc did admit that he considered the idea of having Ray Allen come off the bench.  And depending on how things go the next couple of weeks it would not shock me to see Avery Bradley back in the starting lineup.  The depth has been tested on this team, and maybe Allen being the go-to scorer of the bench wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Speaking of depth.  Mickael Pietrus was at practice today, he watched some of it.  The backup swingman still hasn’t gone through any of the concussion tests, therefore there is still no real timetable for his return.

Doc on seeing Pietrus today, “He looked great today.  First day I actually saw him without sunglasses and a hoody.  He just looked better.  He actually looked alert today.  And he walked in and yelled ‘I feel better.’  So I don’t know what the hell that means.  Honestly I saw him the other day and he didn’t look so good, and today he looked so much better.  So I’m hoping it keeps going that way, but none of us know with concussions.  They take their own course and we have to wait for it to do that.”

At least the news seems to be a little better regarding Pietrus.  However the original thought that he would miss the rest of the regular season still seems pretty likely.

As for the game tomorrow night, the Celtics host the 2 seed from the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs (36-14).

Paul Pierce on the Spurs, “Obviously they got their big 3 in Ginobili, Parker, and Duncan.  They just seem like they are not going to go away over the past 10-12 years.  They still are a team to be reckon with.  They got one of the best records in the league.  They are playing well right now, and they’re a team that no one is really talking about right now.  But they are always going to be dangerous.”

The Celtics have won 5 in a row, but the Spurs have a current NBA-best 7 game streak.  San Antonio is in Cleveland tonight before arriving at the TD Garden tomorrow.

Rich Keefe writes the “Around the NBA” and “5 Questions With…” columns for CelticsHub.com.  He is also the Celtics Reporter for 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.  You can follow him on twitter: @Keefe21


  • I_Love_Green

    You gotta start Avery! Come on now Doc….

  • red

    Doc will never change! same old same old.

    • bradley fan

      lineup introduction tonight at the garden: A 6 foot 4 inch guard from the University of Connection RAAAAY ALLLENNN. Love how Doc is now getting props and people calling him coach of the year. Injuries forced his hand…if that didnt happen the decrepit celts are still a 7/8 playoff seed with bradley and steimsma rotting on the bench.

  • High Rollers

    “'I think he’ll be great,' Rivers said of Bradley returning to a reserve role. 'We’re going to try to sub guys a little differently to keep the combinations the same.'”

    With an economic 21 words on the matter, Doc & Co. have taken this luxurious concern from mountain to mole-hill status.

    Talk the talk and walk the walk.


    This quote brought to you by:

  • DayTrader

    What a joke!!! It's DAMN obvious Ray needs to go to the bench. His D is nowhere near Bradley's. So i guess we'll be back to watching Allen run around and grinding this offense to a halt!

    Wake up Rivers!!!!

  • Sophomore

    That Spurs game feels like a great opportunity for us. Second half of a back-to-back for the Spurs, with travel in between, and the Cs coming in rested.

    • Lantrell Walker

      Not to mention the Sixers will be visiting Miami tonight. A Sixers loss tonight + A Celtics win tomorrow equals more pressure on Philadelphia & a bit more breathing room for the C's atop the Atlantic.

    • Anthony

      It's a moot point since Spurs blew out the Cavs last night and their main guys played like 25mins each.

      Let's hope the Celts got in a good practice session and take care of the Spurs tonight.

  • It's going to be alright guys. Everyone talks about Ray's offense, but you have to consider he can't do it by himself. He needs good picks and a perfect delivery (Rondo) for most of his looks. If he goes into the second unit, plus coming off that big break in action, I don't think it would look good. Meanwhile AB will get some time with various starters and he's got the confidence to be plugged into any lineup and wreak havoc (in my opinion).

    Who knows, maybe AB becomes our super sub. Doc knows best, cuz he's all over the film and he's around those guys 24/7…

    • Sophomore

      The thing I wonder about is what Ray does to the rest of the offense. He spends a lot of time running his defender off picks, and when things are going badly, the other Cs just stand around setting those picks. Seems to contribute to the general sluggishness of the offense.

      • CG12

        Agreed. It makes me twitch to watch the offense when it consists of Rondo standing 10 feet above the top of the key, waiting for Ray to come off 5,469 picks, with none of the other players moving to get the ball or cut off of it. I think that the coaches feel that it is important to force feed Ray a little bit, even if it isn't their most effective offense, so that he stays in the flow of the game.

  • ElRoz

    Juts wanted to mention some irrelevant information: Big Baby scored 31 points and pulled down 10 boards along with 3 steals tonight against Detroit.

    • CG12

      And the Magic lost to the Pistons. Baby has had an awful year. He is shooting 39.5% from the floor. Yuck. He has been suspended for the usual Baby antics. So glad to have Bass instead of Baby.

    • Jamie

      Completely irrelevant. BBD has had a terrible year and the Celtics clearly got the better end of that trade.

  • ElRoz

    I have no idea who should start, but with Pietrus out, having Ray Allen is a great boost. Depending on the size of the other small forward, they might want to play Ray Allen on some small forwards in place of Pietrus; with Bradley as a shooting guard.
    I'm also impressed how the Bradley and Dooling backcourt plays defense – I recall Dooling hounding DWade as well. Nice to have these two.

  • Tos

    What I can’t stand about Boston fans, the short term memory. I welcome Ray back to tge starting line up. Perhaps you guys have forgotten how he’s been THE MOST CONSISTENT player on our roster sine 2008.

    Wow, I’m disappointed in the reactions here.

    • doc is a moron

      that was 4 years ago…..were not saying we dont like ray anymore but it's time to be realistic. ray is a role player now the guy has a had a phenomanol career…he'll probably shoot 3's till he's 48. but this team needs atheleticism and bradley brings that.

  • lakershater13

    I am fine with Allen staying a starter for now but if the offense is not running as well as it has been then you have to bring Allen off the bench. Guys like Jason Terry help teams win championships off the bench. When you have a guy who can come off the bench and light up your opponents tired starters or average reserve players its always a plus.

  • Yeah

    3 games in a row on the horizon. Wonder how Doc is going to apportion minutes for a rare THIGABABA

  • tbunny

    It's a bit more nuanced than that. Ray can still produce, that's for sure. This is a temporary win-win situation for the fans where we get to imagine having three excellent guards.

  • Handsome

    In an unrelated note…. The Celtics still love their food metaphors: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/04/03/dooling-cel

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