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Pregame notes: Ankle won't slow TA

5/24/2010

BOSTON -- A collection of pregame news and notes before the Boston Celtics host the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Monday night at TD Garden:

The rundown (a quick look at pregame headlines)

* TA says his ankle is fine; ready to play in Game 3

* Van Gundy sounds off on firing of Cavs' Brown

* Loose balls: Perk's hurt wrist; Doc on Baby's 'growth'



TA says his ankle is fine; ready to play in Game 3

Celtics guard Tony Allen said he twisted his ankle in the first quarter of Boston's Game 2 triumph over Orlando, but noted the injury did not -- and will not -- prevent him from continuing to play in this series.

"It ain't stopping me from playing in this game," Allen said before Game 3, noting the injury is to the right ankle, but is not related to the surgery he had in the offseason nor the injury that sidelined him for the first 20 games of the 2009-10 season.

Allen seemed hesitant to talk about the injury at first, but once informed that Rivers had already spilled the beans at Sunday's practice session, he elaborated.

"It's just pretty sore," said Allen. "I'm pretty sure there's a lot of guys who could come out and be honest with you and say there's something wrong with them. Doc spoke on my injury and I'm here to tell y'all, he's a concerned dad. But, no, I'm cool, though. For the most part, I'm cool. And I'm playing in this game."

Rivers previously noted that Nate Robinson practiced in Allen's place for nearly the entire three-day break before Game 3 and said Allen looked like the ankle was bothering him in Game 3, but Allen continues to play through the pain.

"It affected him a lot in Game 3, he didn't practice that entire time off," said Rivers. "But he's feeling better and that's good. It was a pretty good turn in Game 2."

Allen, who already goes through a rigorous regimen to keep that right ankle healthy, says he's just following the doctor's orders.

"Staying with [Celtics trainer] Ed Lacerte, getting treatment, that's what I'm doing right now," said Allen. "We have a great training staff. They know how to get me through the pain."



Van Gundy sounds off on firing of Cavs' Brown

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy went to bat for a brother in the coaching brethren before Game 4 when he offered his opinion on why the Cavaliers fired coach Mike Brown Monday.

"Look, I'm a coach, but the guy was in Cleveland for five years, he went to the NBA Finals three years ago, he was Coach of the Year a year ago, he had the best record in the league the last two years, so whether you agree with the firing or not, I think it's very fair to say he got fired on the basis of three games -- the last three games of [the Boston] series," said Van Gundy. "I think that's very hard for anyone to argue.

"I believe I'm right on this, but Mike -- he doesn't have a job now -- but earlier today I believe he had the best winning percentage of any active coach. I don't know how much more of a case you have to make for the guy. Obviously, and I've said it all along, when you own a franchise, you have every right to do whatever you want. I'm not up here to kill [Cavaliers owner] Dan Gilbert or anything else. It's his franchise, he can do whatever he wants with it. [But] the facts certainly support that Mike Brown is one hell of a basketball coach."

The move was met with similar resignation inside the Celtics' locker room.

"Obviously, I'm not thrilled to see it," said Rivers. "I don't know what you gotta do to keep your job. Let's put it this way, you do as much as you can -- he had back-to-back 60-win seasons -- but it's tough. Our profession is tough. And it's getting tougher and tougher."

Kendrick Perkins said, "I thought [Brown] did a good job," and noted that a coach with a superstar like LeBron James has to give him a lot of freedom. From an opponent's perspective, Perkins thought Brown handled it all well.

But evidently it wasn't well enough for the Cavaliers.



Loose balls: Perk's hurt wrist; Doc on Baby's 'growth'

* For the second straight day, Perkins sported extra tape on his right shooting hand for a sprained wrist. Like Allen's ankle, he doesn't seem to be letting it affect his ability to play, but it's something to keep an eye on moving forward.

* On a lighter topic -- well, sort of -- Rivers couldn't resist a weight jab at Glen Davis when asked about his "growth" this season. "You mean on the court, right?" Rivers asked with a big smile. "That was too easy.

* The Magic seemed focused and locked in on Game 4 in their locker room, but Van Gundy suggested his team's mental focus before the game wasn't as important as if (or when) things get difficult during the game. "Whenever you get hit -- that's when the question comes, especially in a situation when you're down. It's more an issue than even the mentality coming into the fight." You could make the case that Orlando has already been hit -- at least three times -- and hasn't responded yet.