WALTHAM Ray Allen was the first Boston Celtics player to address the media on Sunday.
For a change, the bulk of questions Allen faced had nothing to do with his right ankle injury that has at times limited him during this playoff series.
While Allen still has some pain and soreness associated with the injury, he's managing to fight through the pain and do what he can to help the Celtics win.
"I don't make any excuses for it," Allen said. "If I'm out there on the floor, I have to give 100 percent effort for it if I can. "
Allen's impact, like the Celtics play as a whole in this second round series with Philadelphia, has been up and down.
His scoring is down in this series primarily because the Sixers have made limiting his touches a priority.
Even if the ball isn't finding its way into his hands for shot attempts, the C's must still get the ball to him as part of one of their strengths -- good ball movement.
Because of his shooting prowess throughout his career, Sixers coach Doug Collins has made limiting Allen's touches one of Philadelphia's top priorities.
"Ray Allen, he's a threat to throw up 20 points any time," Collins said. "When he's on the floor, you have to space him differently. He takes away some of your help because you have to shade him a little bit more than you do somebody else."
Regardless of whether he's healthy or not, the Celtics must do a better job in terms of their play offensively, especially when they hit stretches in which the offense is clearly out of whack.
"When we get in those situations, we have to settle ourselves in," Allen said. "Offensively, we have to execute, we have to find the second, third option. We have to find the ball. It's just poise down the stretch."
Having that poise for most games is a lot easier with a healthy Allen on the floor.
As far as the questions about his gimpy ankle, it's now at a point where it's no longer a key talking point.
"It's nothing I talk about," Allen said. "If I can't do it, I won't play."