Ray Allen: "We're part of putting W's in the win column, not of a stat-filling machine"
Ray Allen: I don’t think there have been any bumps. The hardest thing in sports is to be a good teammate because we are around each other so long. People ask how do you establish the chemistry. Most people who don’t want the chemistry don’t work at it. For us we have to work at trying to be better toward each other and try to make it easier on each other and respect each other at what they do. I think between the three of us, it’s not like we’re trying to prove anything to each other, besides the fact that let’s go out and win games. We’re not part of a stat-filing machine here. We’re part of just putting W’s in the win column.
How been are you looking forward to a postseason that could be most extended run since your time with the Milwaukee Bucks?
RA: I don’t think about the end. If you think about a championship you think about two extra months after the regular season. I don’t think about that. You’ve got to think about what is immediately in front of you. We’d like to finish this last month of the season in great fashion and go in (the playoffs) with our bodies feeling good and have a great deal of confidence. When we go in the first round that is the No. 1 for us. As days go by, you manage the day, you manage your body, you manage your team. We just build from there. Before you know it you look up and hopefully you are in a great place.
What has coach Doc Rivers' role been in everything beginning from training camp until now?
RA: He has done a great job of just trying to keep everybody focused in the same direction regardless of how we got there, but just building and making sure we stay the path. When we come to the gym we have done our work and everybody has come with their hard hats to get the job done. He has made sure we have fun when we travel, have fun at home, but we’re about business at the same time. He has allowed us to do what we do but at the same time he is reeling usin if we get too wild and crazy. He has treated us all like men.
You’ve known Kevin Garnett for a long time but this is the first time you are teammates. Has anything he’s done surprised you?
RA: I can’t say, no.
What has it been like playing with K.G.?
RA: It makes it a lot easier to play the game. You are going about doing your job and making sure you do what you do but you know there is another guy another two to three in the locker room who are focused in just the same way you are. You know you have a chance every moment you are out there on the floor.
You were a late addition to the all-star team this year, but then went out and scored a game-high 28 points in leading the East to a 134-128 win over the Western Conference. Could you talk about that experience?
RA: They are all special. The cities obviously change, but when you get there, the environment is the same. You are around the guys you beat up on for so many months of the year for so many years of our lives. To be able to take a breather, settle in and have fun is a great experience for myself and the family when the family travels. You never know what can happen, but the whole idea is to have fun and settle in because these moments are so fleeting.
With the way the Celtics are running away from teams in the Eastern Conference, are there any worries about the team becoming complacent?
RA: We have not been in this situation before. We can’t be feeling complacent. We have to cherish each moment. We’ve always said this situation is bigger than all of us. Being able to have a chance to win a championship. You see the pictures on the wall. This would be remembered forever.
RA: No because they are veterans. It’s not like we have to stop practice to show them everything. You bring a young player in the beginning of the season and you have to stop practice to teach. If a player is coming from college to NBA it’s different, but with veteran players, there is only so much that we can do from x’s and o’s on both sides of the floor. Sam and P.J. have been in the gym early and by the time we get in and call the plays, they know everything.
With less than a month to go in the regular season, what are the Celtics playing for?
RA: We’re of the mindset that we haven’t accomplished anything. This is a fairly new team based on playing with each other. We don’t have the convenience to turn it on and turn it off. Every day we’re trying to get better at it. It’s not as much as us playing for something more than just trying to go out there and do what we’re capable of, the small things that add up to the big things.
Marc Narducci covers the NBA for the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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