Boston Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen participated in the team's practice Thursday without setbacks and is optimistic about his chances to play during Friday's Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks. His status for Game 3 will depend on how he responds to the workout.
Allen participated in the entire 75-minute practice session Thursday, which consisted mostly of half-court sets. Beforehand he told reporters his ankle, bothered by bone spurs for the past month, is beginning to feel better.
Quotes from WEEI:
"Last couple of days, I've been in a really good place so I'm optimistic," Allen said before Thursday's practice. "If I'm sitting here [Friday] feeling good, that's a different story. I am optimistic about practicing today so that's definitely a great step for me moving forward.
"I do feel good today. I can't say that I don't. I am definitely am practicing today. I'm excited about it, my body's excited and [Paul Pierce] is probably excited. He asks me every day. It's always great when [teammates ask]. I appreciate when you ask because it shows me you care. I'm here every day and I'm trying to be here for you guys. That's about 80-90 percent of me doing everything I can to get back because I know my guys care about me. When they ask, I say, ‘Don't ever stop asking because if you stop, that's when I start getting worried.' I'm here for these guys."
Doc Rivers was a little more measure in his optimism, and rightfully so considering that Allen has come close to a return before. A couple weeks ago Rivers said Allen would play in a game with no limitations, but Allen's ankle swelled up during a pre-game workout and he still hasn't returned.
"He biked [Wednesday], I guess that is good. I think he has a better shot but we'll find that out," Rivers said. "He wants to do more today so we'll see. We did that the other day and it didn't work so we have to maybe limit Ray from Ray. He's such a creature of habit, and I actually thought that may hurt him for any chance of him to play. Obviously, it reacted that poorly after just the workout he did, it's probably good he didn't play, at the end of the day.
"He's a tough one because he's such a creature of habit. He does his workouts the night before every game and does his two hours of shooting and then before the game does his hour of shooting. That's a lot of work. We have to figure out a way of allowing him to try to do some of it but not doing so much where when he finishes he can't play because I'd rather take 10 minutes of him on the floor than nothing, if that's what it comes to."