Allen would play for East if picked
PHILADELPHIA -- Ray Allen is again on All-Star standby.
Allen made the All-Star team each of the past two seasons as an injury replacement and he's on call again now that Orlando's Jameer Nelson will miss the game with a shoulder injury. If picked, Allen will play for an Eastern Conference team that already boasts his Celtics teammates, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
"I'm like the National Guard," Allen said on Tuesday. "When I'm called on, I do my duty."
Allen was widely considered one of the biggest All-Star snubs when the reserves were announced last week. Allen is averaging 18 points for the NBA-best Celtics, who had 40 wins entering Tuesday's game at Philadelphia. Allen was added to last year's Eastern Conference team when Washington's Caron Butler was injured and he was picked as a Western Conference sub when he played for Seattle in 2007.
Nelson could miss the rest of the season for the Magic because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He was selected to his first All-Star Game and was to compete in the skills challenge Feb. 14 in Phoenix. Allen felt bad for Nelson, but would love to fill in and be added to his ninth All-Star team.
"It doesn't taint me being an All-Star in any form or fashion," he said. "Hopefully everybody feels that same way. Every player in the NBA wants to be an All-Star."
"Until they tell me it's different, I'm not going," Allen said. "They could always pick somebody else."
The Celtics also played their second straight game without Garnett, who was inactive because of the flu. He missed Sunday's game against Minnesota with a high fever. Garnett missed Boston's 109-101 victory that stretched its winning streak to 11 games.
Coach Doc Rivers said he'd work out Garnett on Wednesday, "just to get his wind back."
"He smells things 75 percent of the league can't," Rivers said.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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