Celtics

Allen questionable for Game 1 as ankle pain returns

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Allen questionable for Game 1 as ankle pain returns

WALTHAM A number of the Boston Celtics' more seasoned players have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance lately, Ray Allen among them.

But his flashback in time isn't one he or the Celtics feel good about.

Allen said the right ankle injury that has bothered him for months is giving him the kind of pain and discomfort he felt two weeks ago, which makes his availability for Game 1 of Saturday's second round playoff series against Philadelphia, questionable.

"It's very sore and achy," Allen said. "And with that, it gets stiff. I do what I can to loosen it up, move it around, so I can get more mobility from it."

Allen said the ankle did bother him some during Boston's Game 6 win, which helps explain why he struggled so mightily with shooting the ball.

Allen finished with seven points, but shot just 1-for-7 from the field.

"It was unstable," Allen said of the ankle. "I felt somewhat positioned; I didn't' have that comfortability, that maneuverability on the floor. Once I'm out there, I do what I can to help the team."

Arguably the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history, Allen's presence does in fact open the floor up for guys like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to better operate offensively.

But his presence, at least now, is very much up in the air - just like it was two weeks ago when the bone spurs became too painful for him to do anything but watch and wait for the pain to lessen.

And as far as the benefit of him missing a game, Allen doesn't know if that would be enough.

"This whole week and a half, I've been so day-to-day and I've had some great days," Allen said. "Now I'm back to where I was two weeks ago."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Heat in Miami. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: Will Celtics be drained by emotional comeback win Monday in Dallas?

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

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Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?

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Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?

The Boston Celtics remain a team whose collective talents are far more valuable than their individual abilities.

But there are going to be nights when someone has to shoulder a larger burden of the team in order to win. More often than not, that “one” will likely be No. 11, Kyrie Irving. 

We saw in Dallas what can happen when Irving feels he has little choice but to put the team on his back and carry them to victory. 

The Celtics were desperate for a spark against the Mavericks and found it in Irving, who scored 47 points in leading the Celtics to a come-from-behind 110-102 overtime win. 

It remains to be seen if the Celtics will require a similar Herculean effort tonight when they take the Miami Heat with a chance to extend their winning streak to 17 straight. 

This team isn’t one to dwell on success in the past, even if the past was just 24 hours ago. But there’s no getting around how what happened on Monday night might impact what we see against the Heat. 

Boston expended a tremendous amount of energy in rallying from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter at Dallas, the kind of effort that may be difficult to replicate against a Miami team that you can count on to play hard from the opening tip to the final horn. 

Irving’s performance was one of the rare instances this season when Boston clearly could not have won without their top scorer having a big game. 

“When we needed it most, he made big shot after big shot,” said Al Horford. “He had such good rhythm, I was thinking, ‘just let him keep it going.’ He just kept being aggressive, taking really good shots. He recognized he needed to be extra aggressive, especially at the end and score the ball for us.”

Scoring could potentially be at a premium against Miami which allows 102.5 points per game which ranks ninth in the league in fewest points allowed. Also, the Heat will test Boston’s perimeter defenders. Miami comes into tonight’s game averaging 11.1 made 3-pointers per game which ranks ninth in the NBA. 

The Heat are led by Goran Dragic who is averaging team highs in scoring (18.3 points) and assists (4.7) this season. 

These two squared off earlier this season in Miami with the Celtics coming away with a 96-90 win as Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum led the way with 24 and 20 points, respectively. In that game, the Heat were without starting center Hassan Whiteside, who will be in the lineup tonight as the Heat try to bounce back after losing three of its last four games.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE