It doesn't look like Ray's going to play on Thursday
Celtics guard Ray Allen is the only player not on the team's trip to Orlando Tuesday morning.
In addition to dealing with an ailing ankle that forced him to miss Monday's first game against the Magic, Allen's wife, Shannon, is also pregnant and the latest addition to the family is expected soon.
First of all, congratulations to the Allens. That's obviously the most important thing here.
Ray seemed to be on the fence about playing yesterday. I don't think this is going to be a very extended absence.
Rajon Rondo, Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus might all make their returns Thursday. The question then becomes.. how does Doc approach Ray's absence? The way Avery Bradley played last night adds another possibility to this equation.
Could Doc start Avery Bradley in place of Ray Allen, have Bradley hound Nelson again, but have Rondo on Jason Richardson and in the game to run the offense? The downside is you lose a shooter on offense who can spread the floor.
You can start Pietrus, if he's ready, and have the shooter there. He can certainly defend Richardson and then Rondo could be the guy who picks up Nelson. But Rondo goes for too many steals, and I'm afraid he'll gamble his way out of too many plays.
Unless of course Rajon saw how easy it is to get Nelson to turn the ball over without gambling. In which case Rondo will have learned something from watching Avery Bradley, and my mind will be sufficiently blown for the rest of the season.
The Celtics will have options. It'll be interesting to see how last night's performance will affect Doc's decision.