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Ray Allen: We can’t get caught up in Christmas distractions

12.23.10 at 10:56 am ET

Even Ray Allen has to take family to the airport at 6 a.m. – even on the morning of a game. Such is the life of an NBA star who wants to be sure to spend Christmas with his wife and kids in Orlando.

It’s the least he can do when your job requires you to play in the middle of the day on Christmas.  So on Wednesday morning, about 10 hours before his presence was required at TD Garden for a game with the 76ers, duty – or more to the point – family called.

“I had to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to take my family to the airport so that’s different on gameday from what I’d normally be dealing with,” Allen said. “And you know me, [Tuesday] night I was like, ‘Ahhh, I’ll get someone to take them to the airport.’ But I’m the patriarch of the family so I have to do that. That’s my job. Those are my kids and that’s my wife so I need to make sure they’re sent off correctly.

“That’s part of the holidays. Every team has to deal with it. that’s one thing coaches have always said heading into the holidays is keep your focus. You have a lot of family in town, coming and going, you’re worried about holiday shopping. You see teams losing games they shouldn’t because their focus isn’t where it needs to be.”

Allen was certainly thinking big picture following the Celtics‘ 14th straight win on Wednesday night at TD Garden – like the whole arena big.

“It’s human nature,” Allen said of potential distractions of the holidays. “It’s human nature to think everybody in the building because they’re either visiting, their friends or family are back home, or they’re getting ready to go somewhere to visit friends and family so as they’re sitting there watching the game, their plans might somewhat evolve tomorrow or the next day.

“We can’t get caught up in that cycle of inconsistencies because, for us, we need to be here and we need be present. It is human nature.

The Celtics were 23-5 following a Christmas Day win over the Orlando Magic. This year, they’re on a 14-game roll and again cruise into Disney World with a 23-4 mark with a chance to better that by a game. They then went 27-28 to finish the season.

“Truthfully, I don’t worry about that,” Allen said of last season’s second-half. “We’re at the point where we’re trying to get better. That’s my focus. Almost some of the bad stuff that comes along with what goes on throughout the season, you welcome it because that’s what makes us stronger, makes us more resilient.”

It’s not that Allen doesn’t want to extend the winning streak and take a run at the club’s 19-game streak – or dare we say the all-time modern sports record of 33 games by the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers.

Obviously, I like to win but there’s a point where that galvanized us last year. It’s going to be different this based on what we go through and what really has us with our backs against the wall, where we have to come out fighting. You never know, every corner you turn there’s something new and different. You have to be ready to accept it and grow from it.”

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