Monday's practice report
Statement stretch?: Starting with Tuesday's visit from Indiana, the Celtics play three of their next five games against opponents that beat them earlier this season (Pacers, Magic and Suns).
Even on the heels of an 11-game winning streak (and with 12 wins in their last 13), do the Celtics have something to prove in this stretch?
"I don't know about that statement stuff," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "If we win, yeah, we're making a statement. We want to beat them because they beat us. I hope that's in us. They beat us for a reason, though, they did something well against us, so we have to figure that out."
The Celtics' loss to the Pacers is the only road defeat of the 13 games they've played away from the Garden this season.
sTAr of the Day: Celtics guard Tony Allen remained a hot topic of conversation given his solid play at both ends of the court since returning from a right ankle injury that sidelined him for the first 20 games of the season.
Allen is averaging 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in six games. In Sunday's win over the Timberwolves, he logged season highs in minutes (24:30) and points (15). How was he feeling the day after?
"Achy, a little sore, but it was nothing too severe when I came to practice," said Allen. "I practiced hard, felt good. I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow."
Allen talked extensively about rebuilding his confidence after all his injury troubles. Asked about the Celtics not giving up on him despite numerous chances to do such, an emphatic Allen responded, "They coulda, shoulda, woulda -- but they didn't."
Room for TA when Marquis returns?: Given the high amount of minutes logged by both Ray Allen and Paul Pierce early in the season, Rivers stressed that there is most certainly room for Tony Allen in the Celtics' rotation, even when Marquis Daniels returns from thumb surgery around the All-Star break.
"We needed that," said Rivers. "With [Tony Allen] and Marquis at the 2 and 3, that's unbelievable defense for us. A shutdown 2 and a shutdown 3 that you can bring of the bench -- that'd be terrific."
Still not a 48-minute team: Given the way the Celtics let Philadelphia and Minnesota hang around the past two games, Rivers reiterated that, while the team is showing improvement overall, there's work to be done.
"We're better, but we're still not a 48-minute team," said Rivers. "That was clear last night and it was clear in the Philly game. What did [Minnesota] cut it to, 13 last night? We had a 26-point lead. We let our guard down a little bit. That's a habit we've got to get out of. What do they say, do it 20 times and it's part of what you are? That's not anything we want to become."
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