Allen, Celtics look to stay fit during possible lockout


Allen, Celtics look to stay fit during possible lockout

By A. SherrodBlakely
CSNNE.com CelticsInsider
Follow@sherrodbcsn DORCHESTER Ray Allen has been in the NBA long enough to remember the last time there was a lockout.

Being a relatively young player in 1998, Allen was surprised to see the number of veterans that had to walk away from the game because they weren't physically ready to spring into action once a deal was reached and the lockout was lifted.

Allen, who will be 36 next month, is one of the best-conditioned athletes in the NBA. Staying in shape isn't an issue for him. But Allen intends to make sure the lockout doesn't become a crutch for his teammates as well.

If the league's owners and player's union can't agree on a new collective bargaining agreement by June 30, the second lockout in NBA history will officially go into effect July 1.

Sometime between then and the normal start of training camp, Allen said he and the C's veterans are likely to begin to get together to ensure they're physically ready to roll whenever the season starts.

"That's important," Allen said on Thursday after donating a state-of-the-art computer lab to the Sarah Greenwood school in Dorchester worth about 30,000 from his Ray of Hope charitable organization.

Allen said he'll consider organizing something at his alma mater, UConn.

"That's something we have to talk about as we get closer to the potential lockout date in October," Allen said. "We're going to have to sit and talk as a team, and try to figure out what's best for us as individuals and everybody to stay in shape."

And while Allen is hopeful that a lockout can be avoided, "you have to prepare for the worst."

He added, "From a team perspective, everyone has to try and stay connected with each other. You never know when it lockout breaks. We need to hit the ground running."

A fast start, especially in a shortened season, becomes paramount for a team fueled by veterans such as Allen, who once again have their sights set on winning an NBA title.

That thirst for the tantalizing taste of a title, is even stronger for Allen after seeing the Boston Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since 1972.

"I'm extremely proud of what they've done for the city of Boston," Allen said of the Bruins. "When you see it from the other side, you see just how much bigger it is than just yourself. You see how many people are rooting for you. Sometimes when we're on our own little path, our own little journey, we forget the intensity of the moment. Sometimes you can get to yourself, and forget it."

For Allen, the "moment" comes down to one thing and one thing only -- winning.

That's why it didn't phase him that Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, presented a hypothetical scenario that might involve either Allen or Paul Pierce coming off the bench next season. The move would be made in part to ensure Jeff Green would be a starter.

"To me, however I can help the team, it'll figure itself out," said Allen, who became the NBA's 3-point king this past season, a season in which he averaged 16.5 points and shot a career-best 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

"One thing with regards to Jeff, whatever I can do to make him better and to push him and make him play to the best that he can . . .

"Guys always look at it like coming off the bench is such a bad thing. I know we went through this with Allen Iverson; he didn't want to come off the bench. But you always worry more about who finishes games. But more important, when you're on a winning team, winning the game is the ultimate objective. That's my primary concern I want to win."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'


Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'


Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”