Celtics

Allen not yet ready

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Allen not yet ready

BOSTON Ray Allen was on the TD Garden floor hours before tip-off, knocking down shot after shot after shot.

In his mind, tonight was going to be the night when he would return to the Boston Celtics' lineup.

But his body - specifically, his left ankle - had other plans.

Allen said the ankle isn't where he's comfortable playing on it, which means he'll miss his third straight game tonight.

"I shot today, and I felt pretty good shooting," Allen said. "But I still have a little I think it's still a little weak. I'll go at it tomorrow, and try to go through a couple different routines, cutting back and forth, doing everything I can on the court and then go back and see how I feel on Sunday."

In addition to Allen, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team will also be without Rajon Rondo (right wrist), Jermaine O'Neal (left knee) and Keyon Dooling who suffered a hip pointer injury in Boston's 91-83 win at Orlando on Thursday night.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers is optimistic that some of his injured players will return to action on Sunday when the C's host Cleveland.

"I don't know which ones," Rivers said. "Everybody's real close, but no one is ready today."

Allen, who was in Boston along with his wife welcoming in the birth of their son, Wystan Ryan Allen, had a chance to catch some of Boston's come-from-behind win over the Magic.

Like many, Allen has been impressed by the way the C's backups have made the most of their increased playing time with himself and other key players out with injuries.

"What we've said all along, we have a group of guys that know how to play," Allen said. "As long as we continue to go out there and work together, and make it happen, together at times when we're bad we look helter-skelter. But when we're good, we got it all focused in and everybody's doing their job."

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Hopes that the Celtics would have Gordon Hayward back in the lineup later this year were dashed last night by Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night for a fractured and dislocated left tibia, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens had said earlier in the day that Hayward's prognosis would be better known after doctors saw the extent of the damage. When the operation was over, Bartelstein told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski not to expect Hayward to play again this season.

But there is good news:

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“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Stevens had said earlier. “No timeline on it, but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE