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Celtics-Pacers Pre-game Notes

12.03.08 at 5:37 pm ET
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Tony Allen will not play tonight after suffering a sprained ankle in Monday’s game with the Magic. Allen said he hopes to return by Friday for the Portland game, but a more realistic assessment might be Sunday. Allen came up gimpy in the fourth quarter against Orlando, and he said that after the game he thought the worst.

“When I got back to the locker room, I said, ‘Not again,’” Allen said. “They looked at the X-rays and said that it’s nothing bad, just a sprained ankle.”

Allen’s loss is a tough one for the Celtics who are not deep in swingmen.

“It was crystalized last game for us,” Doc Rivers said. “If you lose one of those guards: Tony, Ray (Allen) or Paul (Pierce) that’s a hole.”

Rivers said the Celtics may go small with Rajon Rondo and Eddie House in the backcourt at times, or possibly Gabe Pruitt who is back after dealing with the flu. The loss is also important because Tony Allen has been playing some of his best basketball in recent weeks.

“Tony’s been good,” Rivers said. “Very, very good. I’m always on him about his defense because I think he can be a dominant defensive player.”

——–

Danny Granger has been lighting it up for the Pacers this year and may be on an All-Star pace. Rivers reminisced before the game about the 2005 draft when the only thing standing between the Celtics and the New Mexico product was the Pacers. The C’s wound up with Gerald Green instead.

“I thought he had a chance to be a terrific player,” said Rivers who does not typically pay much attention to college prospects but had caught a few of Granger’s games. “He’s going to be a star.”

Rivers said the difference with Granger this year is that he is driving to the basket more and has added a pull-up jumper instead of settling for perimeter shots. He called him a cross between Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis, which is pretty high praise.

——

Ray Allen had some anxious moments over the Thanksgiving weekend when he found out his childhood friend, Darryl Jones was actually in the PRS Oberoi hotel. Jones is a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines. “What are the odds?” Allen asked rhetorically.

Allen said that he was able to reach Jones, who had taken refuge in a room on the 21st floor of the hotel. The power was out, but Jones’ cell phone still worked and Allen stayed on the phone with him delivering updates. Jones is OK, Allen said.

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