When Ray Allen came off the bench for the Boston Celtics last night, it was only the fourth time in 1,145 career appearances that he played in a non-starting role. But Allen, the 36-year-old guard who’s battled minor injuries this season, said last night that he was OK with the newfound change in his role.
“Well, people were talking about it,” Allen told the Boston Herald. “It was being talked about a lot. I can’t say that it was my idea — I don’t ever want to come off the bench. But if it can help the team, and that’s what they needed me to do, then I would be up for it.”
Allen missed six games over the last two weeks with an ankle injury, and second-year guard Avery Bradley shined as a member of the starting five in his absence. When Allen returned last night against the Chicago Bulls, Celtics coach Doc Rivers left Bradley in the starting five.
Allen still managed to play 31 minutes off the bench, and he contributed 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting though the Celtics lost, 93-86.
“At the end of the day your minutes don’t change, and that’s one thing I’m very cognizant about when I’m out there in the flow,” Allen said. “It’s an ego thing to start, and my ego is not that big where I feel I have to be in the starting lineup.”
Allen has averaged 14.3 points per game this season for the Celtics, who at 30-24 look poised to win the Atlantic Division and earn the East’s No. 4 playoff seed.