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Celtics' Allen tries to find ways to cure shooting woes

The SportsXchange

Ray Allen has been getting a lot of unsolicited advice lately. Things got even worse when he went 1-for-7 from the floor in Game 1 against Miami. He snapped out of it to a degree in Wednesday's Game 2, hitting five shots, including a clutch 3-pointer in the last minute to send the game to overtime.

But the Celtics, despite Rajon Rondo's career-high 44 points, went on to lose 115-111 and fall behind the Heat 2-0 in the Eastern Conference final. Game 3 is Friday in Boston.

Though Allen clearly is bothered by a right ankle problem that probably would have him on the inactive list if this were the regular season, fans are offering fixes for his shot.

"People call me and tell me, 'You've got to get the ball in the air more,' and I say thank you, I've only been doing this for 20 years," Allen said. "I know how it's affected me, so I'm trying to get it back."

Coach Doc Rivers had even floated the idea of sitting Allen for a game, but he backed off that notion before Game 2.

"Not yet," said Rivers of that relatively drastic step. "We're good. Ray is Ray and we're going to roll him out there and see what we can get. If we feel he can't give it to us we'll go with someone else, but I feel we have to give Ray a fighting chance every time."

Allen was trying to help his own chances when he showed up an hour before the rest of the team for Wednesday morning's shootaround at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"I feel at home sitting on the floor," he said. "I'm able to think -- not rush, work through it -- and to me that's like being home.

"Regardless of what I'm doing during the season, I always try to find more opportunities to get up more shots, to get my legs under me. I don't get as many good shots as I want, so at some point I have to put myself through some sort of rigorous shooting."

Rivers didn't mind Allen potentially taxing himself with the extra workout.

"We don't know what the right prescription is for him," the coach said. "We tried it the other way. We told him don't shoot, but that doesn't help because he's a great shooter. So we told him, just do your routine. And if you feel great, great, and if you don't we'll do something else.

"That's Ray. You want to give Ray a chance every game because you know he'll do everything it requires, and he's going to give himself a chance, too. We know that. Ray is a tough, determined individual. He is Ray Allen because that's what he does. He'll come early and do the same shooting. Ray wants to play well, and he's not going to let injury or anything else be the reason that he doesn't."
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