Tony Allen slumped in his chair yesterday in the Celtics' locker room, looking like he had a secret.
He did. He had held onto it for more than 24 hours.
Those innocent-looking one-on-one games between him, Glen Davis, Gabe Pruitt, and Rajon Rondo Tuesday weren't quite that innocent.
Allen knew it when he reached for his right ankle, which is why he hobbled over to the bench, looking like he stepped on a thumbtack.
"I'm done," he said at the time.
He tried to shake it off, shrug it off. So did everybody else.
"You know you still got two games," Rondo said to Allen.
Allen instead walked out the back door at HealthPoint, not knowing the extent of his injury. Minutes before last night's 106-102 Celtics victory, he didn't have much more information.
"I don't know," he said. "I really don't. It's a light sprain. Strained Achilles', I think."
What he did know was that the tweak kept him out of Game 5.
If coach Doc Rivers looked uninformed in the pregame press conference, it's because he was. Rivers was handling his offday media responsibilities at the other end of the court when Allen winced off the practice floor.
"We didn't know literally until an hour ago," Rivers said. "I didn't know he was injured yesterday. I didn't know until an hour and a half ago."
When he found out, Rivers activated Brian Scalabrine, who hasn't suited up all playoffs and didn't play last night. This is not the first time Allen's been in this pinch.
The injury that ended his 2006-07 season is still infamous.
It was Jan. 10, 2007, Boston at Indiana. After the referee whistled the play dead, Allen exploded through the lane for a harmless dunk. But he didn't have his legs completely under him on the landing.
To see something like this happen in the playoffs was odd for Rivers.
"In the regular season you see all kinds of things," he said. "But not in a playoff game."Lost in the Celtics' title chase is the fact that Allen, in the last year of his contract, is playing for a deal.
"For something unfortunate like this to happen," Allen said, "it's crazy to me."
He said all he can do is hope he feels better today. But he didn't want to think about the possibility of it turning into tomorrow and the next game and maybe even the next series.
"I haven't thought about it," he said. "I'm just thinking about our goals to win a championship. I'd be upset, but you can't really put your feelings on something you can't control."
Hamilton sorePistons guard Richard Hamilton, who scored 25 points, strained his right elbow late in the fourth quarter. Coach Flip Saunders is uncertain about the guard's status for tomorrow night's Game 6 in Detroit, although X-rays taken after the game last night were negative.
Travelin' manScot Pollard will travel with the team to Detroit for tomorrow's game. Pollard's last trip was to Indianapolis for surgery on his right ankle May 9.
After almost three weeks, it feels better.
"It's responding pretty well," he said. "I wasn't feeling well. Now I'm feeling much better."
Pollard hasn't been with the team since its final road trip to Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs. He says he's excited about the trip.
"My wife was excited that I was going on the road trip, too," he said. "Even if it's just for a night."