|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Wizards||12.10.09 at 11:18 pm ET|
A 7-12 record can be deceiving when the team that carries it features Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. The Wizards came to play on Thursday night, but ultimately it was the Celtics‘ chemistry and experience that prevailed, 104-102, in Washington.
The Celtics went up 14 at halftime but came out cold in the third quarter. The Wizards went on a 22-6 run to start the second half before the Celtics fought back, 13-2, to end the quarter. With both teams swapping buckets in the fourth, this game could have gone either way. It came down to clutch shots and free throws, with the Celtics ultimately claiming the two-point edge.
Player of the game: After being benched in the first quarter with two personal fouls, Rajon Rondo carried the Celtics to the win. Rondo posted 21 points (10-20 FG), 11 assists, and three rebounds. Six points and three assists came in the final nine minutes of the game. He recorded his ninth double-double of the season. Segue into …
Turning point of the game: With just over a minute to go and the game tied at 98 apiece, Kevin Garnett set a pick that opened up the baseline for Rondo. Rondo got up for a one-handed slam that made a statement and put the Celtics back on top.
– Ray Allen scored his 20,000th career point in the third quarter. He now ranks 33rd in career points all-time and fifth among current players behind Garnett (21,601). Click here for more on the milestone.
– The Celtics outrebounded the Wizards, the league’s third-best rebounding team, 40-34.
– The C’s improved to 10-2 both when leading at halftime and scoring 50+ points in the first half.
– All of the Celtics starters scored in double digits. Kendrick Perkins (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Rondo posted double-doubles.
– Tony Allen posted eight points and three rebounds in his second game back (ankle).
|Baby could be trippin’||12.08.09 at 7:52 pm ET|
“I don’t know,” Doc Rivers said when asked what his expectations are for the defensive backcourt specialist. “Tony hasn’t played in so long. I’m looking for him not to do too much. Defensively is where we need help and need his help.”
Meanwhile, Rivers said Glen Davis is making progress in healing his right thumb, adding that Davis will “probably be on the trip,” referring to the team’s West Coast trip at the end of the month.
Rivers did not speculate as to his availability and whether he would be activated.
|No TA quite yet||11.25.09 at 7:45 pm ET|
After indicating that guard Tony Allen could be ready to face the Philadelphia 76ers, head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday that his defensive specialist still wasn’t quite ready to make his 2009 debut after injuring his left ankle in the preseason.
“I don’t have a clue when,” Rivers said. ‘No relapse. I really don’t Just not ready to play yet. It’s getting closer.”
Allen played in just one preseason game – on Oct. 9 against the Knicks – and hasn’t played in game action since.
|Tony Allen could return vs. Sixers||11.24.09 at 4:35 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Tony Allen might finally be given the go-ahead to make his 2009-10 debut.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following Tuesday’s practice that Allen, a 27-year-old defensive specialist, might finally have enough confidence in his healed left ankle that he can play at full game speed.
“I think he’s very close, as close that he may play [Wednesday],” Rivers said. “But I don’t know the answer yet. Wait till [Wednesday] and see how he feels.
“Tony looked good today,” Rivers said. “I think with him, it’s going to be a confidence thing. [Monday], I didn’t think he looked good. Today, I thought he looked terrific. He was exploding to the basket.”
The Celtics could use his athleticism off the bench to match that of the young 76ers, pressuring their backcourt of Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala. Tony Allen played in just one preseason game, playing eight minutes against the Knicks on Oct. 9. He missed both shots from the floor and was held scoreless.
|Doc: ‘We’ve done a lot of things average’||11.17.09 at 4:23 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Doc Rivers knows his team hasn’t hit its stride yet.
He also realizes there’s 71 games left in the season.
But still, he, like everyone else, had to watch on Friday and Saturday as the Celtics dropped back-to-back games somewhat unexpectedly to the Hawks at home and the Pacers on the road.
The more alarming loss was Saturday when the weary Celts allowed Indiana to shoot 53 percent from the floor and score 113 points in a loss at Conseco Fieldhouse.
“It’s nothing big,” Rivers said following Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve done a lot of things average and we’re not an average team. When you play average on defense on certain things, and offense, you lose. It’s more of that. It’s nothing earth-shattering. It’s nothing we’re going to panic about. We know we have to get better.
‘To me, the way we’ve played so far, we’ve been a spurt team. We’re not ready yet to be a 48-minute basketball team, that’s just not what we’ve done yet. We’re working on it.’
Meanwhile, one of the Celtics best defenders of the last two seasons ‘ when healthy ‘ has been Tony Allen. The guard has been out with a right ankle injury since off-season surgery but could be getting closer to returning as he is now practicing with the team.
‘He did well actually,” Rivers said. “He moved and played great. He’s moving well. I’m not sure if he’s ready to play yet, honestly. I just don’t know yet because I do think he’s not sure of his injuries. There’s several times he’ll jump and you can see he’s clearly thinking about it and I don’t like putting players on the floor when they’re thinking about it because that leads to something else.’
|Baby Ok but Scal and TA doubtful for opener||10.23.09 at 5:18 pm ET|
Davis played 16 minutes last Sunday in Toronto, scoring nine points off the bench.
“Scal, his ankle, I don’t expect him to be ready for opening night, but I’m not sure yet,” Rivers said. “Tony is a definite ‘no’ but everybody else is good.”
|Tony Allen makes unexpected return||10.09.09 at 10:41 pm ET|
Celtics guard Tony Allen made an unexpected return to the court Friday night against the Knicks (recap here). Before the game, coach Doc Rivers said Allen, who underwent right ankle surgery in June, would not play until Sunday against the Nets.
Allen credits strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo for his expedited comeback.
“He warmed me up pretty good, got to shoot a couple of jump shots, felt good on my landing,” Allen told WEEI.com after the game. “I just thought I’d give it a shot.”
Allen went scoreless (0-2 FG) in eight minutes of play, contributing an assist and a steal while committing two turnovers and two fouls. He wasn’t playing for the box score, though. This was a test of his recovery.
“I felt good. I did some good things, I did some bad things. But most importantly, I just want to see how my ankle’s going to act tomorrow,” he said. “I got a little hands on deflections, my man couldn’t get past me, [but I] turned it over, being too aggressive, and didn’t let the game come to me are the bad things. But for the most part I was out there, I got up and down the court. Now I’ve got to see how it’s going to feel tomorrow when I wake up.”
For now, his anke bothers him. He soaked his foot in ice and noticeably favored it as he walked in the locker room after the game. But Allen is taking it one day at a time.
“It’s pretty sore right now but I can’t be [psychic Miss] Cleo in this situation to tell you how I’m going to be tomorrow,” he said. “So we’ll see what’s good. “
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