Celtics

Allen tries to focus while on the verge of history

Allen tries to focus while on the verge of history

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Ray Allen didnt get much sleep on Wednesday night.

Then again, who can blame him?

On Thursday morning he woke up two baskets shy of an all-time NBA record and hours away from tip-off.

I didnt sleep extremely well last night. And I didnt expect to, he said before the Boston Celtics took on the Los Angeles Lakers. Last night I was just like a little kid. The game itself is big enough. Being on the precipice of breaking this record takes you to another level.

The game warranted hype on its own. But rather than it being headlined as the Lakers first trip to Boston since beating the Celtics for the 2010 world championship, the overwhelming storyline has become Ray for the Record.

Allen stands at 2,559 career three-pointers. He needs one to tie Reggie Miller and two to break the record.

His teammates smiled as they talked of the chance at history. His family and friends have been visiting and sending warm wishes in phone calls and text messages. And Miller, who is on-hand to broadcast the game, offered his encouragement.

He just told me he was proud of me and he was excited for me, Allen said of their conversation earlier in the day. He said he was glad that he could be here for this moment, and its so serendipitous that it happened the way it happened, for us to be sitting here and Reggies in the building about to watch the game.

In typical Allen fashion, he tried to stick with his daily schedule as much as possible. He got his shots up. He took addressed the media at his locker like he does before every game. He spoke of the importance of winning the game superseding a pair of three-pointers.

Its not something that you take for granted. That ball has to go in. you get good looks, guys set screens, he said, adding, I dont want anyone to get sidetracked. I dont want (Rajon) Rondo to look for more any more or less than what he would do normally.

As much as Allen and the Celtics are focused on beating the Lakers, it is impossible to ignore the possibility of what could happen in the next four quarters they play.

I think all of us who are in sports, we put ourselves in situations where we can achieve some type of success, Allen said. Its great to get adulation, but you always know at some point in time, its time to go to work and youve got to put that work in. Its great to sit here and talk to you all. I know why Im here, and it requires a lot of blood and sweat.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

All signs point to LeBron James playing against Celtics Tuesday

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All signs point to LeBron James playing against Celtics Tuesday

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- A sprained left ankle injury kept LeBron James out of all but one of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason games, and has created a certain element of uncertainty as to whether he’ll play against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. 
 
While it has yet to be determined for sure if he’ll play, all indications are that the 15-year veteran will be in the starting lineup as the Cavs kick off their quest to remain the team to beat in the East.

“I never hide stuff from you guys. I really don’t know,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said when asked if James would play against the Celtics. “Depending on how he feels, but I really don’t know.”
 
However, James looked pretty comfortable shooting the ball after practice with a trio of former Celtics in Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Jeff Green. 
 
And if you listen to the man who would likely start in James’ place -- J.R. Smith -- there’s nothing to worry about Cavs Nation. 
 
According to Smith, James will play. 
 
“We were talking about it, he’s never missed, since he was 8 years old and he started playing, he’s never missed a first game,” Smith said. “I’m preparing for him to play.”
 
Despite having played more than 41,000 minutes -- only 33 players in NBA history have done so -- James has been one of the game’s more durable players. Last season James he sat out only eight games, and that was the most he has missed in a single season.
 
 "He's gonna go [Tuesday]," Smith said. "He's gonna go, trust me [on] that. I don't care what he's gotta do, he's gonna play."
 

Celtics may spend a good part of the year playing 'Getting To Know You'

Celtics may spend a good part of the year playing 'Getting To Know You'

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- It’s hard to believe the Celtics are just hours away from their first regular-season game after having been together for less than a month. 
 
The quick turnaround isn't all that different than it is for the other 29 teams in the NBA.  But the Celtics, who advanced to the Eastern Conference finals last season, are returning only four players -- and just one starter -- from last year.
 
Training camp was indeed a crash course called Getting to Know My Teammates 101.
 
But listening to the players, and coach Brad Stevens, it’s clear there will be lessons learned all season long.

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“We have a good feel about how things can look, in the preseason,” said Al Horford. “But it is the preseason. Now it all starts. And right away we face a tough test (in the Cavaliers). But yeah, we’ll start learning even more. We’ve already learned a good amount, but even more when Tuesday rolls around.” 
 
That's when the Celtics kick off the regular season at Cleveland, which will once again be the favorite to advance to the NBA Finals.
 
Not too far behind (right behind them, by most accounts) are the Celts, whose season ended in the Conference finals a year ago in a five-game loss to the Cavs.
 
And the Boston players collectively feel that, despite the short amount of time together, they’ve developed a good sense of chemistry and understanding of how to play effectively with one another. 
 
Having said that, they also understand that there’s still plenty of room to grow. 
 
“I don’t expect it to be perfect by any means at all,” said Gordon Hayward. “We’ll definitely have some ups and downs this season. Like I said, one thing is we’ll be able to compete every night. We’ll be able to play together. Those things should stay the same.”
 
In many respects, the Cavaliers are going through a similar challenge this season.  They've added Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder -- and, when he recovers from his hip injury, Isaiah Thomas -- to a core group that’s led by LeBron James. 
 
While the increase in talent is undeniable, it’ll take some time before they too develop the kind of on-the-court cohesiveness that comes with time. 
 
“It’s gonna take time,” Rose said. “It’s going to be a process for everybody to learn their roles, learn everybody’s tendencies, and not think while they’re out there.”
 
And while there’s a heightened level of uncertainty as to how things will play out with the Celtics this season, Stevens embraces the unknown. 
 
“I think we're going to be learning about ourselves through the middle of the season,” Stevens said. “I think you do that with every team, but I think that's especially the case now. But this is, I've said this before, like, the first week, the first 10 days, the first few weeks, we have such great and unique challenges that it's gonna be really good for this team regardless."
 
Stevens added: “Because, to have to go into Cleveland with that level of intensity, with that level of attention, distraction, etc., is great. It's great to experience that in game one. A tremendous learning experience for our group. So, we're preparing to play as well as we can. And we know that they're really, really good. But this is, I'm looking forward to it because I want to find out where we are.”

Hayward added, “It’s a fun first game to start the year. Regardless of what happens, we’ll have some improving to do and things to get better at.”
  
 

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