Ray Allen, frustrated with being benched for Avery Bradley and hearing his name in trade rumors (and sometimes more than rumors, they once told him it was done only to have it come undone), took less money to leave Boston for a team where he felt wanted — the rival Miami Heat.
That went over in Boston about as well as thrashing Bobby Orr. Even Kevin Garnett “lost” Allen’s phone number.
Sunday “Benedict Allen” and the rest of the Heat come to Boston and you can bet Allen is going to hear all about it. Doc Rivers says Allen should be treated like a king, but it is much more likely other four-letter words will fly his way.
Allen — averaging 11.4 points a game in 25.5 minutes off the Heat bench — played in Boston long enough to know what is coming, but told A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com he’s not too worried about it.
‘It’s an interesting concept because I’ve always gotten a warm welcome (in Boston),” Allen told reporters in Miami. “Even before I started playing there. I just want to win. Everything else will take care of itself.”
It’s really Allen’s old team the Celtics that need the win — they have lost six in a row and in the last five games the already struggling Celtics offense has averaged just 93.5 points per 100 possessions, dead last in the NBA. Their defense is good, but no defense can fully make up for that lack of production.
Celtics fans could get part of what they want — Allen has struggled on the road this season, shooting just 34.7 percent from three away from Miami. I still wouldn’t leave him alone in the corner and let him shoot, but he could have an off day.
Of course, there’s still the little problems of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade that could be bigger issues for Boston looking to break their streak.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).