BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to town Wednesday night, along with an old friend.
Tony Allen will make his first appearance back in Boston since signing a three-year, $10 million deal with the Grizzlies in the offseason. Drafted in the first round by the Celtics in 2004, Allen spent six seasons in Green. He became a key defensive player behind Paul Pierce during the 2008 championship run, but left for the chance to be a starter in Memphis.
The Celtics have won their last two games, comeback wins against the Hornets and Knicks. They currently trail the Chicago Bulls by half a game for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
“We don’t really try to worry about other teams and what they’re doing,” Captain Paul Pierce said. “We worry about what we’re doing as a team and getting better. Everything will take care of itself. Even though we’ve had our struggles, we’re still at the top of the East.”
Boston has struggled at the beginning of games as of late, facing first half, double-digit deficits in five of their last seven games. Getting off to better starts is just one thing the Celtics would like to fix with just 13 games remaining until the playoffs.
“Our goal is to go out and play better basketball, regardless if we’re at the top or not,” Pierce added. “I felt like we haven’t been able to put anything consistent together over the last couple weeks and hopefully over the next stretch we can.”
Home court advantage could prove to be pivotal for Boston, and securing the top seed in the East would mean not having to meet up with both the Miami Heat and Bulls during the playoffs.
“The way to get up is look up at the banners and think about home court,” Coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s what should motivate you. You’re going to have bad games, you’re going to lose games on certain nights that you should win, that’s going to happen. It just can’t happen too many times.”