|Tony Allen gets closer||03.29.09 at 7:22 pm ET|
Tony Allen is going to see a hand specialist Monday and if all goes well he could be ready to play next Wednesday, April 8, when the Celtics host New Jersey. It’s possible, but not likely, that Allen could return even sooner but for now the plan is to let him get a few practices under his belt. “Our practices are like game speed anyway,” Allen said before Sunday’s game with Oklahoma City.
Allen has been encouraged by his progress, which has included him taking part in pregame shootarounds. He did concede that the thumb is still a little sore. His original prognosis was six-to-eight weeks and he is just now coming up on six weeks.
When Allen does return he will likely wear a modified cast to protect his thumb and he noted that won’t be sure how it will hold up to contact until he goes through it. With JR Giddens in the D-League, the Celtics are down to 10 healthy bodies.
|And Now, Your Celtics Injury Update||03.23.09 at 7:37 pm ET|
There really isn’t one, except for maybe this. Doc Rivers said before the Celtics game with the Clippers that Tony Allen might be the closest to a return. But then he added that no one among the Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Leon Powe group is really that close to coming back. “None of them are playing any time soon,” Rivers said.
Of the three Doc is probably most concerned with Scalabrine as he has just now doing bike work. “Scal, that’s a tough one,” Rivers said. “He can’t run at all. He can’t do any conditioning. That might put him back further.”
|Scal out, TA back and Kings up…||01.27.09 at 3:14 pm ET|
The Celtics had a longer than normal practice on Tuesday at their training facility in Waltham.
Here are some nuggets from the day.
Brian Scalabrine, who already was dinged up from a mild concussion on Sunday during the win against Dallas, took a serious shot to the head from Patrick O’Bryant and had to be taken off the court and given medical treatment. He was having pain from the light and has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against Sacramento by head coach Doc Rivers, who added they might have to check with the Patriots for advice.
Tony Allen looked “great” to Rivers and with Scalabrine being out, will likely return for the first time since spraining his right ankle on Jan. 4 in New York against the Knicks.
Rivers said he will remind his team that they embarrassed the Kings by 45 points on Dec. 28 in Sacramento (their lone win on the West Coast swing) because “every team in the league has pride” and they will be “out to show that that game was a fluke.”
Here is the audio version of the above.
|Green passes up dunk||01.25.09 at 5:32 pm ET|
No matter how much he fights it, it is difficult for Gerald Green to shake the perception that he is just a dunker. He can shoot, he’ll tell you. He’s working on his defense, he’ll say. So Green is passing on the Slam Dunk Contest that he once dominated. This season isn’t about being a high-flyer. It’s about being a Dallas Maverick.
‘It’s not really important,’ Green said following the Mavericks-Celtics game in Boston (RECAP HERE). ‘It’s just something that really my friends and family want for me. They wanted me to get into it this year. I said no.’
Dunking may have been one of the skills that got Green in the NBA, but it couldn’t keep him there. In eight months he had been traded twice and eventually waived by his hometown Houston Rockets. He had been out of the league for nearly four months when the Mavericks signed him to a one-year deal last summer. Now Green wants to repay the Mavs for taking a chance on an unemployed 22-year-old.
‘I just really wanted to stay focused on basketball,’ he said. ‘I didn’t want the misconception that everybody thinks I’m just trying to dunk. Dunking is fun. That’s not my skill. So that’s one thing I was trying to do, just stay focused on basketball and not really worry about it.’
Green’s focus has been challenged by inconsistent playing time. He averaged 14 minutes per night in November, then appeared in just four games in December. He was on the court for just a minute in two of those contests. This month he has started twice but has not played in eight other games. On Sunday, he was in street clothes against his former team.
‘It’s tough for me right now but I’ve just got to still think positive,’ he said. ‘I love the situation, I love the organization, I love the team. I’ve just got to wait my chance. Right now it’s up and down, start, inactive. It’s tough, I’m not going to lie. But it’s a situation I’m dealing with.’
The Mavericks appreciate Green’s commitment despite the sporadic minutes. He asks his veteran teammates for advice ‘all the time,’ according to guard Jason Terry. What they see in his dedication goes beyond the box scores.
‘Oh man, the kid has a tremendous upside,’ said Terry. ‘When I watch him play, I think he could be an All-Star in this league. He just has to get on the right team and in the right system. When he has played, he’s helped us tremendously just because his athleticism. He can score with the best of them.
‘Like I said, he’s still young though. 22-years-old in his fourth year in the league, he’s going to have a long career ahead of him if he just stays humble and continues to work hard. He’s always in the gym shooting late nights, so his hard work is going to pay off eventually.’
Nothing is guaranteed for Green, so he hits the court hard every time. Not only does it improve his game, it also challenges his teammates to be better.
‘He’s just one of those guys who sticks with it, and you know if you’re guarding him in practice he’s going to come at you,’ said Antoine Wright, adding, ‘He comes into practice every day and treats it like it’s his game, and that’s something that you have to do when you’re not playing. And being a young guy, it gives him an advantage because it shows the coaches that he’s still in tune to what’s going on.’
Even though Green is focused on the Mavericks this season, he isn’t hanging up his dunking shoes just yet. He has plenty of family in Texas who wants to see him in the 2010 contest in Dallas.
‘Next year will be a totally different year,’ he said. ‘If things go well I think I’ll probably do it in Dallas. I missed the one that was in Houston, but I’ve got a lot of family in Dallas and hopefully if I’m still in Dallas next year ‘ I’m a free agent so I don’t know how it’ll go ‘ I can’t predict the future but I know I want to get into the one that’s in Dallas.’
Ask the Mavericks and they’ll tell you there will be plenty of chances to Green to dunk again.
‘He’s a tough young player,’ said Wright. ‘I think he’s going to be in the league a long time.’
During his two seasons in Boston, Green played with six members of the Celtics 2008 championship team. He was happy to see his former teammates win the title, and even happier for those off the court.
‘They deserve it. Those guys deserve it,’ he said. ‘I was happy for them, but I think the most I was happy for was those people in sitting in the yellow and black seats out there. Those people, when we were losing 18 in a row when I was here, those seats were still sold out. So I really enjoyed it for my ex-teammates because I know where we came from, but those fans deserved it. They stuck with it, through winters and snowstorms.’
And how about that championship bling? Tony Allen was the first to show it off, and Green was so impressed he placed a Blackberry on his fingers to demonstrate the size of the 92-diamond ring.
‘I started to steal it,’ he joked, ‘But it said a big ‘Tony Allen’ on it.’
|Celtics practice notes||01.24.09 at 3:12 pm ET|
There was a media circus on Saturday at Health Point with several outlets taking advantage of what has become a rare Boston Celtics practice.
– Tony Allen, who has missed the last 10 games with an ankle injury, consistently knocked down long-range jumpshots after practice. However Doc Rivers, who does not get involved in the medical side of the game, has not been given the green light yet from Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte.
‘I have no idea [how he’s feeling],’ Rivers said. ‘He seems like he’s doing well, smiling and laughing today. I didn’t check updates. He’s not playing so I just talk to him as a guy. I don’t even ask him about the injury. So he’s feeling good.’
– Rajon Rondo was also working on his jumpshot, a hot topic as of late. Rondo attests that Rivers has not asked him to spend any more time on his J than he usually does.
‘In practice when I have the opportunity, I shoot it,’ he said. ‘But other than that I try to continue to do what I do best.’
– The Celtics spent an extra day in Florida on Friday after beating the Orlando Magic on Thursday night. Temperatures reached nearly 70 degrees in Orlando yesterday compared to 40 in Boston.
‘It’s great, any time you can stay in warm weather it’s got to be good for the body, good for the soul,’ Rivers said. ‘The players wanted that and they earned it, so they got to stay.’
As for Rivers, he used the extra day to spend time with his family. ‘I slept at home, I never saw the team,’ he said before adding with a laugh, ‘So it was perfect for me.’
|What If: Tony Allen||01.10.09 at 1:56 pm ET|
On January 10, 2007 Tony Allen blew out his left knee in a post-whistle slam dunk. Two years later, he still isn’t the same player.
At the time of his injury Allen was one of the few bright spots on a dismal Boston Celtics team. He had stepped up in the absence of Paul Pierce and was doing his best to lead his team with explosiveness and defensive hustle. He was also averaging a career high 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and shooting 51.4% from the field. In an instant, it was gone.
Reminders of Allen’s injury have come to mind with the recent struggles of the Celtics bench. He has missed the last three games with an ankle strain and has been inconsistent when healthy. Allen, who turns 27 on Sunday, has learned to accept his role as a defensive specialist. At times there are flashes of the old TA, slashing to the basket, getting up for a dunk, or attacking the hoop for a rebound. But those highlights have been few and far between.
On the date of his injury it’s easy to wonder, what if Tony Allen never went up for that dunk?
If Allen had continued his breakout season, he most likely would have been packaged in the Ray Allen trade instead of Delonte West. If not, the Minnesota Timberwolves probably would have pushed for him in the Kevin Garnett deal. Allen was playing too well to stay on a team desperate to make moves.
There would be no need to wonder what if. Chances are Tony Allen wouldn’t be on the Celtics.
|Sounds of the Game… Celtics 94, Hornets 82||12.13.08 at 8:53 am ET|
Yet another sign on Friday night that these Celtics may be even better and more focused than last year’s 66-win, NBA-champion group. The C’s came in after an 8 p.m. game the night before in Washington and had to battle the talented New Orleans Hornets, with James Posey making his return and collecting his ring. After circling at midcourt and doing Ubuntu one more time with the man Doc Rivers said understood it as well as anyone, the Celtics went out and won their 14th straight, matching their longest since March-April 1986. Rajon Rondo didn’t have his finest game but Paul Pierce more than picked up the slack with 28 points. Even Pose had to concede that this team may be even better than last year’s group.
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