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Celtics notebook

Allen (Tony) sidelined again with thigh injury

Email|Print| Text size + By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / November 30, 2007

Tony Allen can't catch a break with either leg.

The Celtics guard missed his second straight game last night with a right thigh injury suffered Saturday at Charlotte. And after last night's game against the Knicks at TD Banknorth Garden, the 6-foot-4-inch, 213-pounder did not make the trip to Miami for tonight's game. Allen is "angling" to return Sunday against Cleveland and plans on rehabbing his injury at the Celtics' practice facility in Waltham today and tomorrow.

"It's getting better," said Allen, who is averaging 3.6 points per game. "I'm seeing it get better, but I'm still sore. I already got one bad wheel [left knee], so I don't want to go out there and be detrimental to my team. It's just a knickknack injury that I have. But it's just recovering and getting stronger.

"It's just minor setbacks. I'm just trying to be positive and get through this adversity that I've been going through right now. Hopefully, I can get back to strength."

Allen is still recovering from left knee surgery that caused him to miss the last 48 games last season. The fourth-year veteran, however, believes his knee is getting much stronger and his confidence in it is growing. One sign that he is becoming more confident was a strong two-handed baseline dunk against the Lakers a week ago.

"I had a dunk that kind of surprised me in the Laker game," Allen said. "This [thigh] injury didn't help . . . I get more confidence in my [knee]. I caught the ball and went straight up [against the Lakers]. That's how it has to be. I got up on that one."

Coach Doc Rivers said Allen's injury makes Boston "slim" at guard. Rivers jokingly asked former NBA star Reggie Miller if he would reconsider playing for the Celtics during a production meeting with TNT, for whom Miller now is an analyst. Miller considered signing with the Celtics during the offseason but declined the offer Aug. 24.

"I love Reggie," Rivers said. "He is who he is and he's done what he's done in his career. Obviously, he's been in big games. It's not going to happen, obviously."

Miami sleepover

Rivers did not expect the Celtics to be in their Miami hotel rooms until about 4 a.m. To ensure the Celtics get some decent sleep, they will stay overnight in Miami and fly home tomorrow afternoon.

"That is a tough one, as is any back-to-back," Rivers said. "Having coached in Orlando, I realized that's a tough traveling place. When we were in Orlando, we never arrived anywhere [after a game] until 3 o'clock or 2:30. Here is great unless you go to the South."

Silent night

Knicks guard Quentin Richardson is the latest NBA player to question the Celtics after they acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett during the offseason to join Paul Pierce. The difference is that the other naysayers piped up before the Celtics started 11-2.

"They're not that deep of a team," Richardson told New York reporters last week, adding that the Celtics didn't intimidate him. "After those three, there's a significant drop-off."

The Celtics' supporting cast silenced Richardson last night, scoring 54 points. Reserve guard Eddie House scored 15 points on five 3-pointers, rookie forward Glen Davis had 13 points and six rebounds, and guard Rajon Rondo had 8 of his 10 points in the first quarter and added a game-high seven assists. Richardson shot 3 of 12 and had 7 points.

"We can't be worried about what everybody is saying about us and how they view us," Garnett said.

Fashion statement

TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager has built a reputation for wearing odd-colored sport coats and ties. And after last night's game, Garnett couldn't help but tease Sager on national TV, saying he brought his clothes back "from the '70s."

"Can't you see [my Boston clothes are] working and that is not?" Garnett said.

Marc J. Spears can be reached at mspears@globe.com

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