The Celtics head into their game versus the Pacers with a slight 1 game lead on the Atlantic division and the fourth seat in the eastern conference standings. Boston currently sits 3.5 games behind the Pacers for the 3rd seat.
For the second straight game, Avery Bradley will be in. the starting line-up for the Celtics with Ray Allen coming off the bench.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said this morning that Avery Bradley will start tonight against the Indiana Pacers and Ray Allen will come off the bench. Bradley may have his toughest challenge as a starter in opposing Indiana swingman Paul George, who is 6-feet-8.
According to the Boston Herald, the 3 point king thinks the switch may benefit him:
“The way it’s been, that first six or seven minutes I’m kind of floating a little bit, and that’s how I’ve been for the last few months,” said Allen. “The second unit gives me the ability to get more shots and have the ball in my hands a little more. It’s a weird dynamic. Doc has to figure how we’re going to be best. We have so many moving parts right now.
“You ask how are we going to get more shots for Ray, and going into the half I had two shots,” he said of his first half production during Thursday’s loss to the Bulls. “So it’s going to take some adjustment for me.”
“It’s interesting. I have the ball and have more of an opportunity to be a playmaker, but as a group we all have to think more about being playmakers and getting great shots,” he said. “When I’m (coming off the bench) yeah it does give me the opportunity to get more shots and a scoring mentality. But it’s not about getting shot attempts up. It’s about getting me more in the rhythm of the offense that we have. For almost a month and a half when I was in the (starting lineup) I was drifting away from the rhythm of the offense.”
“This is Doc’s ship, and whatever Doc needs and wants, we have to do it for him,” said Allen. “It’s something I thought about years ago when you look at guys near the end of their careers. I saw it in Allen Iverson refusing to come off the bench.
“It doesn’t change a whole lot, but I understand it,” he said. “You understand you’ve been doing something for so long. But having the essence of the team and the understanding of the team and what we want to do to win, if that’s what Doc needs then it’s up to him.
“It’s like (Rivers) drawing up a play. I’m going to go with whatever he feels is necessary for us to score a bucket or to help win that game. That’s his call.”
“At the end of the day your minutes don’t change,” he said. “That’s one thing I’m very cognizant of when I’m out there. It’s an ego thing to start, and my ego is not that big that I feel I have to be in the starting lineup.
“But I consider myself one of the best at what I do, and I like to give the team a chance at winning every night,” said Allen. “It is tough. I try the best I can to prepare Avery and keep him on his toes for whatever may happen.”
It’s not every day that you see a future Hall of Famer willing to become a bench player. This just shows the class Ray has and is willing to do it for the benefit of the team.