To hear Ray Allen tell it, we might be seeing him make his Playoff debut tonight in Boston. Per the Herald: “Allen was an active participant as the Celtics prepared to host the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series tonight (7:30) at the TD Garden. Allen stoically has contained the emotional upheaval of watching the Celtics engage in a hard struggle against a worthy adversary under playoff conditions. Allen has missed 11 straight games and 16 of the last 21 with bone spurs in his right ankle. Allen will have the spurs removed surgically in the offseason. ‘Injuries are tough and we all deal with them, but I like the way I feel right now,’ said Allen choosing his words carefully. ‘I’m in a good place, so I’m optimistic. I deal with the days as they come. I am optimistic about playing and that is a great step forward.’ Celtics coach Doc Rivers has game planned around Allen’s availability since the start of the series. After the injury forced him to sit and watch both games in Atlanta, Rivers’ degree of optimism was justifiably more guarded than Allen’s. ‘There’s nothing really new but he’s going to practice and that’s good,’ said Rivers. ‘I think he has a better shot but we’ll find that out. He wants to do more and we’ll see like we did that the other day (Tuesday) and it didn’t work. We have to maybe limit Ray from Ray.’ The Celtics strategy workout was limited to situational sets and halfcourt stuff that didn’t tickle Allen’s finicky ankle. Allen’s previous attempts to insert himself into the series were compromised by pain and swelling. ‘There will be a Monday where I’ll feel pretty good, then there will be a Tuesday where it will be like ‘it’s not happening this day,’ said Allen. ‘I try to read my body as best I can. The last couple of days I’ve been in a really good place and, like I said, I’m optimistic.'”
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