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Thanks to T.A., C’s where they want to be

Posted By Mike Petraglia On May 14, 2010 @ 1:06 pm In General | 1 Comment

One man’s misfortune often is another’s opportunity. Such was the case for Tony Allen [1] in the recent series against the NBA’s MVP and the team with the best record in the NBA this regular season.

With Paul Pierce [2] once again saddled with two fouls early in Game 6, it was up to Allen to step up and help on LeBron James [3].

And help he did, as he held James to single figures in the first quarter and applied pressure throughout the second half in key spurts. The superstar wound up with a triple-double but he hardly was able to dictate the pace and tempo of the game with his trademark rocket cross-court passes as the Celtics [4] prevailed, 94-85, to advance to Sunday’s opener of the Eastern Conference finals in Orlando.

‘€œThat’€™s my role on this team,” Allen said. “I’ve got to be aggressive, just as aggressive as he is. For the most part I took that challenge. He still had a great night offensively all around. My whole thing is just to contain him, and listen to my bigs in transition.’€

Whether it’s Kevin Garnett [5], Kendrick Perkins [6] or Rasheed Wallace [7] shouting out, Allen proved he can be all ears and arms on the court.

As the Cavaliers [8] were in the midst of a big run, cutting the lead to four on back-to-back 3′s by James, Allen recalled a key turning point.

‘€œI remember while being in the game, I just missed getting to [LeBron] and then got encouraged from my bigs ‘€“ I didn’€™t hear them and they cut into the lead. For the most part we stuck together, we grinded it out. We were able to get back to the lead up.’€

From that point on, the Celtics re-established their double-digit lead.

Paul Pierce had a couple of huge baskets including a 3-pointer and felt like he had more energy toward the end of the game, thanks in part to T.A.

‘€œIt wasn’€™t really that grueling for me because I was in foul trouble, Pierce said. “I think it was more grueling for Ray and Tony because he’€™s a special talent, obviously he’s the best player in the NBA, tough to guard one-on-one, but you have to give a lot of credit to the other guys. He did his job, got me in foul trouble, but I’€™m a lot fresher in this series because of the foul trouble than I was when I played against him two years ago when he just completely wore me down.

“But those other guys, they played their hearts out on defense, it wasn’€™t just me, it was Ray [Allen [9]], Tony, Kevin, Rasheed, Baby [Glen Davis [10]], it was a number of guys. There is no person that can guard the guy so lets just leave it at that, it was nothing that one person did, it was a collective group, it was a team defense that was surrounded around stopping him.’€

Ultimately, the Cavs learned that a team of reserves like Tony Allen can help shut down a team led by the two-time reigning MVP.

‘€œMost definitely, at the end of the day everybody has their role,” Allen said. “Like Doc said before the game, ‘€˜Do your role, do your role 100 percent.’ Everybody took that challenge, and we were fortunate enough to get that win.

‘€œIt was big, but I think guys came in focused. They meant what they said, they didn’€™t want to go back to Cleveland. At the end of the day we prepared for this, and we were where we wanted to be.’€


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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2010/05/14/thanks-to-ta-cs-where-they-want-to-be/

URLs in this post:

[1] Tony Allen: http://media.weei.com/basketball/tony-allen.htm

[2] Paul Pierce: http://media.weei.com/basketball/paul-pierce.htm

[3] LeBron James: http://media.weei.com/basketball/lebron-james.htm

[4] Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm

[5] Kevin Garnett: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kevin-garnett.htm

[6] Kendrick Perkins: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kendrick-perkins.htm

[7] Rasheed Wallace: http://media.weei.com/basketball/rasheed-wallace.htm

[8] Cavaliers: http://media.weei.com/basketball/cleveland-cavaliers.htm

[9] Ray [Allen: http://media.weei.com/basketball/ray-allen-celtics.htm

[10] Glen Davis: http://media.weei.com/basketball/glen-davis.htm

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