- Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
- U.N.: Afghanistan slow to enforce law protecting women
- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after ‘Blackfish’ documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- South Africans hold day of prayer for Nelson Mandela
- Mandela not on life support in final hours, friend says
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle removed from North Korean state documentary
- Thailand crisis deepens as opposition quits Parliament
- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
Allen’s D the key
But upon his arrival in Boston, the shooting guard was required to adjust his role. He no longer was asked to be the top scoring threat on his team but instead a complementary scorer and a defender.
Allen was effective on both ends during the season. And with his work against Kobe Bryant during the regular season and early in the NBA Finals, Allen is starting to distinguish himself as a strong defender.
In three games heading into Sunday night’s Game 2, Allen had limited Bryant to 34 percent shooting and an average of 24.6 points - down from his season averages of 45.9 percent and 28.3 points a game.
“In past years I never thought of Ray as a great defender,” teammate Paul Pierce said. “But when you look at the top scorers in the league, you never think of any of the top scorers in the league as great defenders because they’re so great offensively, and I think that’s been the case with Ray. I think since being here he’s showed he’s been more than a capable defender. …
“He knows in order for us to win we have to play defense, and he’s drawn the challenge of guarding Kobe, he’s drawn the challenge of guarding [Atlanta’s] Joe Johnson and he’s stepped up that part of his play regardless of what he’s done on the offensive end.”
Allen said his improved defensive efforts are a byproduct of him buying into the Celtics’ team philosophy.
“I’ve always been a pretty good team defender,” Allen said. “The schemes that we use, the schemes that I’ve used my whole career, if you have one weak link, you all know the team defense is going to suffer throughout any games, throughout any season. I think here we have five guys at any time on the floor that are accountable, so it makes the job somewhat easier. You don’t just point the finger and say it’s on you; it’s on all of us. One person makes a mistake. You don’t compound it. We all key into each other.”
Kobe is ‘giddy’
Kobe Bryant has improved his image as a teammate this season, and from the Western Conference finale on, his coach has noticed a greater joy in his star player. At one point when talking about Bryant, Phil Jackson described him as “giddy.”
“I think that that was really noticeable in the presentation of the Western Conference trophy. … I thought he was very, very fun loving in that situation. I think you really see the true nature of Kobe Bryant with his teammates.”
Bryant has been a jokester in practices this week, challenging his teammates to shooting contests and going so far as to bump them or toss balls into the air to deflect their shots to improve his chances of winning various competitions.
At the podium, he has shown a comical side.
When asked about the pressure of Game 2, he said, “I’d much rather have the pressure of this moment as opposed to having the pressure of deciding which swim trunks I’m going to wear in Bora Bora, the Gucci ones or the Yves Saint Laurent ones. I’d much rather have this pressure.”
He defended teammate Pau Gasol’s reputation of being less than physical against Celtics forward Kendrick Perkins but added: “Pau is not going to - you run into Perkins and Pau in an alley, you’re probably going to go Pau’s direction.”
About the Author
- Wizards respond on practice court
- Saunders flips out about Wizards' defense
- Saunders fumes as Wizards regress
- Wizards close out 2009 with another loss
- Late breakdown costs Wizards in Memphis
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Sen. Rand Paul pushes 'economic freedom zones' for Detroit
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- New Internet security challenge arises for cybercops
- Wife of Obama aide found dead in burning car in home's garage
- Congress creates a legislative fortress for military sex-assault policy
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
"Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better." - Dr. Richard Paul
Go beyond tourism's "top 10" bus tour destinations with Susan McKee as she explores the varied history, culture, food, and gardens, of the world.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!