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JJ Barea ejected for flagrant foul on Ray Allen (Video)

JJ Barea Ray AllenJJ Barea was ejected for deliberately pushing Ray Allen during the Miami Heat’s 97-81 win over the Timberwolves in Minnesota Monday.

Barea felt like Allen had bumped (or elbowed) him while backing him down beyond the 3-point line with just over eight minutes left in the game and the Heat up 76-70. He responded by pushing Allen to the ground a few seconds later, causing a scuffle between the teams.

Barea, who at 6-foot-0 is the smallest player on the floor, was charged with a flagrant 2 foul, which calls for an automatic ejection.

During an interview on NBA TV after the game, Allen called Barea’s move “bush league.”

“Yeah, I thought it was a bush-league move by Barea, just kind of leveling me like that,” Allen told NBA TV’s Brent Barry. “I don’t care who you are in the league, you’ve got to defend yourself. You play the game the right way and I try to do that in my career. He got ejected for I think due purpose.”

Barea said after the game he felt Allen overreacted to a “little bump.”

“He hit me with an elbow almost close to my neck,” Barea complained after the game, per Eye on Basketball. “That’s part of the game and then I just gave him a bump back. I’ve been playing in the NBA for seven years. I’ve been hit, I get hit harder than that every night. I don’t get up crying, wanting to fight. (Former Lakers center Andrew) Bynum almost knocked me out for the rest of my life. I didn’t get up crying. You know? It’s a little bump so it’s part of the game. Don’t be like that. That’s why the refs got all upset about it but it’s just a little bump.

“That was terrible,” he said. “I get hit harder than that every night in the NBA.”

Allen had 13 points in 26 minutes, while Barea had four points, four rebounds, and four assists in 21 minutes before his ejection.

Given his history of being on the receiving end of cheap shots (as he referenced in the quote above), you would think Barea would be above such behavior. Apparently he’s not.

Video via @beyondthebuzzer

Jason Terry takes a shot at Ray Allen while praising Paul Pierce

Jason Terry has been trying to become one of the vocal leaders of the Boston Celtics since coming to the team this past offseason, but by the numbers it doesn’t appear he has been all that effective. The Celtics are 13-12 and have been incredibly inconsistent, both offensively and defensively. Terry’s play has been the same.

Paul Pierce scored a season-high 40 points on Wednesday night in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. After the game, Terry praised the Celtics’ captain while throwing a seemingly senseless jab at Ray Allen.

“His (Pierce) willingness to stick through the tough times and not just jump off, ‘I’m out of here! I’m going to join forces with Kobe (Bryant),’ or ‘I’m going to play with Dwyane Wade’ — that’s a shot right there,” Terry said according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

Terry is averaging 11.4 points and 2.2. assists per game this season. The Celtics have needed him to step up in a number of situations with Avery Bradley injured, and he has not consistently done that. He has done plenty of talking and shown he is a good teammate, but his play has to improve if Boston plans to contend again in the Eastern Conference.

Allen is averaging 11.9 points per game, so the scoring numbers are similar. However, he is shooting a whopping 47% from beyond the arc and has hit a number of clutch shots for the 16-6 Miami Heat. Allen left more money on the table to join the Heat to chase a championship. Many were understandably upset with his decision, but at the moment it looks like it was the right one if he wants to win another ring. If Terry really wants to stick it to Ray, he can start by helping the Celtics win more games.

Ray Allen ignored by Kevin Garnett as he greets Celtics (Video)

Ray Allen checked into his first game as a member of the Miami Heat with 2:45 left in the first quarter of the team’s season-opening game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

Allen, who spent five season with the Celtics but had a bad breakup as he chose to sign with the rival team, tried to give a warm greeting to his former team. He gave handshakes to his former coaches, and even embraced head coach Doc Rivers for a hug. But when he tried to give a handshake and some love to Kevin Garnett, he was ignored.

Garnett deep down probably has love for his former teammate, but he is all business when he gets on the court. His refusal to acknowledge Allen is also no surprise given his comments about his former teammate last month.

Allen hit a three-pointer a minute after entering the game, and he heard “We love Ray” chants after going to the free throw line in the final minute of the quarter. He finished with 19 points in the Heat’s 120-107 win. He was 5-for-7 from the field including 2-of-3 on three-pointers, and 7-for-8 on free throws.

Allen didn’t seem to be hurt by Garnett giving him the cold shoulder.

“That’s just KG. He probably didn’t even see me coming because his head’s down the whole time on the bench,” Allen told TNT’s Craig Sager after the game.

“I love those guys. I played with them for five years — we won a championship together. I can’t say enough good things about them and about the city of Boston.”

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Ray Allen: I have no animosity toward Boston Celtics

There has been no shortage of Ray Allen stories leading up to Tuesday’s season opener between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Allen left the Celtics in free agency for the rival Miami Heat, causing a major controversy.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers says Allen didn’t return his and GM Danny Ainge’s phone calls, indicating there were some hard feelings. Kevin Garnett says he lost Allen’s phone number. Stories about the feud between Allen and Rajon Rondo have increased.

Despite all this, Allen indicates the buzz about personal beefs leading up to the game is overblown.

“You guys think I have some sort of animosity toward them,” he said on Monday, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I don’t.”

Allen also wouldn’t tell the media exactly why he left Boston after spending five successful seasons there, which included two trips to the Finals and one championship.

“I’d rather not discuss it. I don’t think there was a number-one factor.”

There have been many theories about why he left. Among the reasons: he was unhappy the team tried trading him numerous times, he didn’t like coming off the bench, and he didn’t get along well with Rajon Rondo. That probably summarizes most of the problems.

Allen is with the Heat now, and the Celtics have done fine to replace him. I bet all sides will be pleased to finally move beyond this matter when their first game of the season finally begins.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Doc Rivers indicates Ray Allen wasn’t a good team player last season

The NBA season begins on Tuesday with an exciting matchup between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Not only is the game a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, but it also marks the first game for Heat guard Ray Allen against his former team.

Allen chose to sign with the Heat in free agency and was called a traitor for choosing to play for Boston’s rival. Allen’s first game with the Heat — and first against Boston — will be a huge story line Tuesday. Naturally, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked about Allen leaving Boston during a recent interview. Rivers was completely respectful towards Allen, but he did point out that Ray did not have a good team attitude last season after being replaced by Avery Bradley in the starting lineup.

“You worry about a guy’s feelings, but you worry more about the team. If anything, Ray probably didn’t like that,” Rivers told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz on Friday. “I’ll always look at myself first with Ray; he wanted to ball more and things like that. I tell my guys every year, if you’re here for me to run stuff for you to look good, you’re in the wrong place. If you’re here for me to run stuff to make the team look good, you’re in the right place.”

Rivers also said he knew Allen wasn’t going to re-sign with Boston when the shooting guard stopped returning his and GM Danny Ainge’s phone calls.

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Kevin Garnett says he lost Ray Allen’s number when Allen signed with the Heat

Before July 6, Kevin Garnett had a seemingly close relationship with Ray Allen. Both veterans went to the Celtics in 2007 with a common goal in mind — to join Paul Pierce in capturing their first NBA championship. After accomplishing that goal, it felt like nothing could drive a wedge between the brotherhood the Boston Three Party had established. That was until Allen decided to sleep with the enemy.

Garnett kicked off the offseason by re-signing with the Celtics and all but guaranteeing he’ll end his career in green. When Allen left money on the table to sign with Boston’s biggest Eastern Conference rival, the defending champion Miami Heat, K.G. took it personally.

“I don’t have Ray’s number anymore,” Garnett said at the Celtics’ media day Friday when asked if he has kept in touch with Allen, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

Those of you who wondered if K.G. took it personally when Allen left have your answer. Doc Rivers was open about the fact that he did not agree with Ray’s reasons for leaving, and apparently Garnett feels the same and then some. They say time heals all, but it’s safe to say Allen is persona non grata around the Celtics facilities for at least the foreseeable future.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Austin Rivers: The Celtics are better off without Ray Allen

Although he may not have been their top priority heading into the offseason, the Celtics would have preferred to keep Ray Allen. They certainly didn’t want him to sign with the best team in the Eastern Conference, but such is life in the NBA. Once Allen signed with the Heat, Boston turned it’s attention to former Rockets guard Courtney Lee as a replacement.

Austin Rivers believes the Celtics are better off with Lee. During an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday, Rivers explained how he thinks Allen’s departure benefits both teams. He said the Heat will benefit in obvious ways by Allen spreading the floor and had the following to say about his father’s new squad.

“And I think the Celtics got better, because first off it was disappointing to (see Allen) leave because he was a part of that whole buildup to the Celtics again, but now you have a better defender in Courtney Lee, who is a great on-the-ball defender and someone who is going to add to the great defense the Celtics play already,” Rivers explained.

“And then you have Jason Terry, who is instant offense, something the Celtics need when you have older players like KG and Paul Pierce that get hurt. So when you have guys that are going to be inconsistent, not due to how good they are but how old they are, and the fatigue of a long season, you have guys who can come in and give you instant offense.”

Mix in the fact that Allen and Rajon Rondo had a known chemistry issue and Rivers has some pretty good points. Allen was a huge part of the Celtics philosophy, but at the very least they get much younger with the 26-year-old Lee. Austin also believes the Celtics are the only team in the East that can challenge Miami, and that may be true now that Dwight Howard has gone to the Lakers. Whether Allen tips the scale in favor of one team or the other remains to be seen.