Celtics notebook

Allen, Rondo make do

They're not upset by All-Star snubs

By Frank Dell'Apa
Globe Staff / January 31, 2009
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo are working on Plan B. They weren't selected for the All-Star Game in a vote of coaches Thursday, and they are finalizing vacation trips for the Feb. 13-16 break.

"I'll be going for birdies," Allen said of his intent to be on a golf course in the Caribbean or Mexico. Last year, Allen was a replacement and scored 28 points in the All-Star Game in New Orleans.

The Celtics (39-9) have the NBA's best record after last night's 86-78 win over the Pistons and expected to have at least one more player joining Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on the All-Star roster.

"Based on what we have done as a team, we were excited about Rondo's season and maybe having four guys," Allen said. "And [center Kendrick Perkins] was being considered as well. We thought we had a great shot, but there's not much we can do about it. I always thought the truest form of making the team was the coaches' vote; you can't go wrong with that. And there were other guys who deserved it."

Neither Allen nor Rondo indulged in sour grapes.

"Every guy that made it deserved to make it," said Rondo, who was considering a trip to the Cayman Islands or Las Vegas.

Rondo included New Jersey's Devin Harris in that group, though Rondo outdueled Harris in two recent Celtics wins.

"That's two games out of the year," Rondo said. "He's been better all year long."

Coach Doc Rivers said he was "disappointed" in the choices.

"But Ray Allen gets to play golf and relax and get ready for the second half of the season," Rivers said. "I like that, too."

Allen has "sacrificed his game for the good of the team, on an All-Star level," Rivers said. "He is the most efficient 2-guard in the NBA, scoring-wise.

"I'm disappointed in the coaches because they say we have gotten our guys to sacrifice for the team and that's what they all want their guys to do. But there's a lot of other guys who could have made it. There's no perfect science."

Allen believes some judgments are made on a short-term basis. "If a player causes them problems in an individual matchup, in [their] mind, he's an All-Star," he said. "One time I made it and guys were barking that I shouldn't be on the team because I had missed this many games. But I would never be mad at someone else for making the team. You are not always happy with the choices that are made, but you just have to go out and work a little harder."

Garnett and Pierce expressed their support for Allen.

"I appreciate the guys that made it," Garnett said. "But the league is different - back in the day, it had a lot to do with your record. But it's obvious. Ray should definitely be in the game."

Said Pierce, "I'm disappointed [about] Ray - especially this season, he's been our most consistent player, our best player. But we have no control over it."

Rough stuff
Perkins was ejected for a flagrant foul while defending against Jason Maxiell with 5:56 remaining. Maxiell retaliated by shoving Perkins in the back.

"I tried to foul him by hitting his arms, but he stuck his neck down," Perkins said. "It was not like I wanted to hit him that hard. I never try to hurt anybody. I wanted to give him a hard foul and I closed my eyes, so I don't know how I hit him. He pushed me in the back. I'll face the consequences but I wasn't trying to hurt anyone."

Garnett on the rough nature of the game: "It's like being in a bar. It is what it is. They know us, we know them. Every time we meet up, it's like a slugfest.

Eddie House's push to be chosen for the 3-point shooting contest during All-Star weekend has impressed Allen. House is 23 for 35 on 3-pointers in the last five games - 7 for 11 against Dallas and Miami, 0 for 1 against Orlando, 8 for 9 against Sacramento, and 1 for 3 last night. "He's actually out of the zone and beyond the arc," Allen said. "There are not too many guys who can shoot like that from that range. Every time he scores, I feel like I scored. We have to keep him feeling as comfortable as we can." . . . Allen Iverson finished with 19 points to move past Charles Barkley and into 16th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. He has 23,768 points . . . Detroit (25-20) has struggled to adjust to the addition of Iverson, who was acquired from Denver for Chauncey Billups and replaced him in the starting lineup. "But they are going to be as dangerous as anybody when it comes to the playoffs," Rivers said. "Individually, they have guys who have won titles, who have been to the Finals, guys who have logged a lot of playoff minutes. It will not be new to them."

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