The team’s strong starts beg the question of whether it would be better for both the Celts and Allen to bring him in off the bench when he does return, perhaps as early as today, from a sore right ankle.
For his part, Allen says he would graciously accept such a move if coach Doc Rivers sees fit.
“If it makes us better offensively, I have no problem with it,” Allen said.
If the change is made, it clearly wouldn’t be a swipe at Allen, who is posting some of his best shooting numbers, including 45.9 percent on 3-pointers. But beyond the fact the Celts have been getting into a good defensive groove to open games, making Allen more of an offensive focal point with the reserves possibly could stretch out the scoring.
Often with the starters, the ball doesn’t find Allen, who usually gets his looks when a play is run all the way through.
“Yeah, I’m kind of floating out there,” he said.
This is a switch John discussed earlier this week. It works in theory. But the key to success is Avery Bradley.
Can he maintain his consistent play on both ends of the court? Can he shoot with confidence? Can he defend larger two guards? Dwyane Wade, Danny Green (SA), Ronnie Brewer (CHI) and Paul George (IND) are all big guards on the schedule this week.
Height isn't everything (as John can attest). Read the entire Herald article and you'll notice that Doc Rivers is most concerned about his guys getting back on defense. Bradley's ball-hawking skills and lightning quick feet will be key in slowing down the Heat's fast break. I'm excited to see what he brings to today's game.
On Page 2, the Heat are whining about fatigue.
"No, we're not young at all," Wade said after his team had a relatively stress-free home win over the Mavericks this past Thursday. "I don't feel young at all around here."
Anyone who's watched the Heat lately would understand Wade's reaction.
You don't have to be a body language expert to recognize fatigue when you see it on a basketball court, and Wade has been sending the loudest signals of anyone on his team.
Couple that with LeBron James' rash of ailments of late — a dislocated left pinky finger, an aggravated right elbow and an undeniable aftershock following a violent collision with Phoenix's Grant Hill – and the Heat don't look young to anyone.
In this condensed season of 66 games in four months, the Heat might be the team most negatively affected, at least in terms of how it directly influences their game.
Consider this: There is no other team in the league that plays as laborious a style as the Heat.
Not only do they play relentless defense that requires extreme and constant effort, but it usually results in exhausting fast-break sprints. Add to that the fact Miami requires additional effort just to rebound well because of a lack of frontcourt size, and it's easy to make a case that no other team in the league requires as much energy to play at its best.
"And everybody's hyped to play us," added Heat forward Chris Bosh.
And everybody's hyped to play us? Bosh is such a beeotch.
If any team has a right to gripe about age, fatigue and injuries, it's the Celtics.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Division leading Celtics brace for daunting foes | CSNNE – Injuries stretching Cs thin | Blakely's Celtics-Heat preview | Thomsen: Cs would need to trade up for Rivers | Doc on 1st place: We have resolve | Herald – Not in the cards for Rondo | Heat facing resurgent Celtics | WEEI – Cs heat up as Sunday showdown nears |
AP Photo/David Goldman