Thursday, December 22, 2011
Ready or not, it's (real) game time
By Tom Lakin
AP Photo/Michael DwyerBOSTON -- Before the Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night in just their second –- and final -- exhibition game of the 2011-12 season, Ray Allen was asked what can be learned about the team after only two games.
Celtics guard Ray Allen and an empty TD Garden.
That’s easy, Allen said. “That we need six more.”
Should fans be worried, then, that the Celtics won’t be ready for a Christmas Day start?
“No,” Allen said. “But [getting going] is just always a process. Even like this morning’s shootaround, we were putting in new stuff."
The keys going forward, Allen said, are timing and focus.
“Most of the plays, we've got great position players, but the timing is so important,” he said. “It’s executing out of timeouts, it’s out-of-bounds plays, it’s everything that you have an opportunity to put in when you have preseason games spread throughout the two-week period, and you have scrimmaging amongst the teams in the evening times when we have two-a-days. [This year] we just don’t have that. And nobody has it. So it just requires an intense amount of focus for everybody when they’re out there.”
Still, Allen said, while the short preseason has had its pitfalls, the time off also means the Celtics will begin the season with fresh legs.
“Guys have had ample opportunity to not be pounded at this point coming into the season, so there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re gonna come out of this," he said. "Our fresher bodies are a good [thing] for this team. It allows us to get to this point where we can play as many games [as possible] coming down the stretch.”