Celtics

Allen fights ankle pain, inconsistency vs. Sixers

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Allen fights ankle pain, inconsistency vs. Sixers

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."

Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'

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Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'

You know who else - besides Charles Barkley - isn't impressed by the Celtics' 14-game winning streak?

Their coach. 

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At the shootaround in Atlanta before the Celtics attempt to make it 15 in a row tonight against the Hawks, Brad Stevens told reporters, including ESPN's Chris Forsberg, that his team hasn't played well enough to make the streak "valid." 

“We haven’t played well enough to consider this win streak to be valid in my opinion,” Stevens said."We’ve figured out ways to win games. We gotta play a lot better.”

The Celtics have come back from double-digit deficits a number of times in the streak. Stevens said they're fortunate those rallies have kept the streak going.  

"We've got to be better, and we know that," Stevens said. "We can't get so caught up in the results of all these games and ride that emotion. We've been fortunate to win a lot of the games in this streak, including Thursday night [92-88 over the defending champion Golden State Warriors]. If we dig ourselves a 17-point hole every other game, it's not going to be as much fun as we've had recently."


 

Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

The mask will be back tonight in Atlanta for Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics guard told reporters at the team's shootaround Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Hawks - where Boston will try and win its 15th in a row - that he'll grudgingly go back to wearing the clear plastic facemask he had been using to protect a facial fracture he suffered last week. 

Irving wore the mask against Brooklyn for a full game earlier in the week then ditched it in the second half of the victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. He shot just 4-for-16 from the field (1-for-5 on 3's) against the Warriors and has made no secret of his disdain for wearing it.  

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