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C's on Melo & trade rumors

ESPN Boston Illustration

A slip of the tongue suggested jail time awaited for Ray Allen.WALTHAM, Mass. -- Celtics guard Ray Allen provided one of the lighter moments of Tuesday's practice session with a slight slip of the tongue that suggested jail time was in his future.

Asked in advance of Wednesday's Celtics-Nuggets showdown about the ability of Denver's Carmelo Anthony to play through recent trade rumors, Allen tried to suggest that it wasn't like Anthony was about to be sent to the slammer, but Allen inadvertently suggested he was headed there himself.

"You still get to play," said Allen. "Your address may change, but you still get to play. I'd worry if someone told me I was about to be shipped away to prison, then I might have a little pressure on me. I don't know when that's going to happen..."

Reporters quickly interjected, saying, "Wait, when?" as Celtics media relations czar Jeff Twiss, standing nearby, added to the laughter by asking, "Is there something I don't know about here, Ray?"

Back on the serious side, Celtics captain Paul Pierce suggested that great players like Anthony can battle through those rumors.

"I think it’s easy for guys, once they step on the court, because you don’t really think about that stuff," said Pierce. "Most guys who are in his position just go out there and play the game, not worrying about the trade here, the trade there. You see it in a lot of cases where guys tend to forget that that’s what’s going on once they step onto the court, and they’re playing one of their best games or they’re having their best year ever, and you see that in Melo. He’s not really worried about that, but he’s still out there having a fantastic year, an MVP candidate."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said trade rumors wouldn't change Anthony's impact on the court.

"He’s a professional scorer," said Rivers. "He’s like Paul. There are not a lot of professional scorers in our league. Carmelo and Paul are two of them. They can score in any situation and nothing fazes those guys. They know how to score. They do it on their own tempo and time. Carmelo is going to be Carmelo, whether he is in Denver or anywhere else."