Monday, October 22, 2012
Ray Allen says ankle remains sore
By Michael Wallace
MIAMI -- With a week left before facing his former team in the Miami Heat's season opener, guard Ray Allen said his surgically repaired ankle isn't completely healed and could require treatment well into the season.
"I still deal with soreness in my ankle that I work through every day," Allen said after the Heat's practice Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Allen has played in all five of the Heat's preseason games and has shown little effects of the June 13 procedure he had to remove bone spurs from the ankle several days after the Boston Celtics were eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals by the eventual NBA champion Heat.
Three weeks after the surgery, Allen signed a deal in free agency to join the Heat after he turned down a two-year contract to stay in Boston.
The Heat will receive their championship rings during what is expected to be an emotionally charged season opener against the Celtics on Oct. 30.
Allen, 37, revealed after Monday's practice that he has been working through some discomfort in the ankle throughout the preseason, which continues with Tuesday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
"I would like to be in better shape, better condition," Allen said. "So, you know, I still have to make sure I don't do too much pounding, because I'm a runner. On off days, I like to run. Right now, I've switched to the bicycle to stay off the pounding as much."
The Heat held one of their more extensive practices of the preseason on Monday, with a scrimmage session stretching the workout well beyond two hours.
Miami wraps up the preseason with three games over a four-day span, including the second game of a back-to-back on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards in Kansas City.
With several rotation players either working their way back from training camp injuries or pushing through the final stages of rehab from offseason surgeries, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he likely would mix up his lineups over the next two games to ensure some players get rest while others play to regain rhythm.
"We're making progress, getting healthier," Spoelstra said. "I want to see who responds to this. This was a training camp practice (Monday). We'll see how guys feel tomorrow."
LeBron James said he expects to play Tuesday after sitting out Saturday's game against the San Antonio Spurs with what the team referred to as general soreness. Dwyane Wade, who is coming off his longest outing of the preseason in Saturday's 26-minute stint, said his surgically repaired left knee continues to respond well, but he also wants to see how he holds up when pushed to exhaustion.
The Heat hope to use the final week of the preseason to work in some rotation players who have missed the majority of camp with injuries. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers and leading returning rebounder Udonis Haslem both practiced Tuesday after sitting out for weeks with strained leg muscles.
"We're on the right track, yeah," James said. "We've got a few more days to get to regular-season form. But we're in a good spot right now."
Allen has not made an issue of his ankle and also denied he's concerned about his struggles from beyond the arc in the preseason. The NBA's career leader in made 3-point baskets has missed 16 of his 22 attempts from 3-point range and is shooting just 37.5 percent overall in five preseason appearances.
"The stats in preseason don't really matter to me," Allen said. "Your minutes are so sporadic, going up and down, and you're kind of in and out of the game. It would be like me looking up my stats in practice. Sometimes in practice, I think every time I'm running up and down the floor, you want to make shots. But you're working on certain things -- you're building toward something."
Allen believes everything will settle down quickly once other players are healthy and he can establish some continuity with other members of the Heat's second unit. The ankle, he said, just needs time, too.
The injury has plagued Allen since March, and he missed 15 of the Celtics final 22 regular-season games in addition to Boston's first two playoff games before returning to action.
After he arrived in Miami, Allen said he likely would not have tried to come back from the injury and would instead have opted for surgery earlier had the playoffs not been at stake. On Monday, Allen said "it's possible" he might have to cope with some discomfort at times this season.
"But again, you just deal with it the best you can," said Allen, who shot a career-high 45.3 percent from 3-point range last season. "At least my ankle is getting what it's getting (conditioning) from going through practice. But then (I'm) not overdoing it, so as the season goes on, it heals up nicely."