Celtics continue to thrive without Allen

The Sports Xchange

With Sunday's 91-72 victory over Miami in Boston, the Celtics have now won six straight games. All of them have been without Ray Allen, who has missed seven straight with a sore right ankle.

No one is inferring the Celts don't need him back, but with the work Avery Bradley has done with Rajon Rondo to open games, it is fair to wonder what the best role for Allen will be when he does return.

The Celtics are now 10-1 this season when Allen has not played at all.

As for coming off the bench, Allen said this weekend it wouldn't bother him.

"If it makes us better offensively, I have no problem with it," he said.

Allen is in the midst of a great shooting year, hitting 45.9 percent of his 3-pointers, but he doesn't always get the best looks when he's on the floor with the starters.

And there can be no question the Celts are setting a better tone early on the other end of the floor with Bradley in the lineup.

Speaking of the team's rise in general, Rondo said, "I think we're in a good rhythm right now defensively, and if we can continue to start the game with getting stops and getting easy buckets, we'll be fine.

"Yeah, I'm kind of floating out there."

The subject has come up before, first because of how well the team was doing with Mickael Pietrus on the floor providing defensive intensity. And Bradley has done even better following Pietrus' concussion.

"Trust me, if there's a lineup out there, we've thought of it," coach Doc Rivers said. "This probably came up for the first time three years ago. But you're always giving up something. We can move Ray, but then he's not playing with Rondo and he doesn't get looks. I mean, I think it's simple until you actually do it."

It will be interesting to see how the Celts play it if Allen is available when San Antonio comes to town Wednesday.

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