Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“For me, personally, I felt good to be back out here,’’ Allen said after practice. “My legs felt great. I had a shot in the ankle the other day and had all day to let it manuever through my body. Coming in today I felt like I had two new wheels.’’
Allen participated in pregame shootarounds in Minnesota last week and at home Sunday.
“Going through shootaround kind of favoring it, holding it – different feelings, wincing,’’ Allen recalled. “I didn’t deal with that at all today.’’
It's nice to hear that Ray's ankle is feeling good. He took that cortisone shot and, apparently, that was enough to get Ray over the hump and feeling good enough to play.
Now… as for that headline in the Globe…
Yesterday, Doc sounded pretty clear on the "Ray will start" front. But Ray insists he'd come off the bench if need be.
“Whatever we need to do as a team,’’ Allen said. “I think the effort that I’ve seen over the last week and a half, two weeks, is great. Whatever combinations we work out there, we’re all good enough, we’re all professional enough, to understand it. We know our plays. We’re at a point in the season where everybody knows who each other is. So, remembering plays and positions is second nature now for all of us.’’
We talked about this very issue last night on our first ever on-camera edition of the Two Man Game. And we addressed the whole issue of Ray starting and how the Celtics have handed it in the past couple of days.
I guess we'll have to wait and see how Ray's ankle feels today. Maybe there's time for Doc to do the right thing with this lineup.
Related links: CSNNE: Allen likely to return, start vs. Spurs | ESPN Boston: After cortisone shot, Allen hopeful for return | WEEI: Ray Allen and his "pissed off" ankle make amends | Herald: Ray Allen prepared to give it a shot | MWDN: Allen says he's set to play vs. Spurs
On Page 2: Doc will sit guys this month if he has to
“The thing is, we don’t know,’’ Rivers said about the upcoming stretch. “I wish I knew. I don’t have any idea how the guys are going to react to it, how their bodies are going to react to it. If we think we see something, we’ll change the lineup to get different guys more rest. Or we will sit a guy here and there. Who knows? I wish there was a formula for this. This stretch is going to be hard. That’s why it’s so nice going to into this stretch having won games.”
This is it… the last 4 weeks of the season. The Celtics play 12 games in 17 days, including an 11-game-in-15-day stretch that includes four back-to-backs and a 3-in-a-row stretch.
There is zero doubt in my mind that guys will sit as healthy scratches in this stretch. You simply cannot over work guys this close to the playoffs. Gregg Popovich does it very well in San Antonio. He's "sacrificed" games and all the Spurs are are the 4th best team in the NBA and just two games behind Oklahoma City.
I know KG will throw a fit and Pierce said: “They pay me to play in the games, so that’s my plan," but you have to sit one of the Big 3 in each of those 3-in-a-rows. You just have to. Luckily, the opponents are Toronto, New Jersey, and Charlotte. The Celtics should be able to weather this storm if they handle things the right way.
The rest of the links