Ray Allen Requested to Come Off the Bench

When Ray Allen returned to the Celtics’ lineup from injury, people in Boston wondered if Doc Rivers would bring him off the bench, and keep Avery Bradley (who has played very well during Allen’s absence) in the starting lineup. Ray, supposedly, made the decision a lot easier for his coach. Per the Boston Herald: “The NBA had a small tremor last night. Avery Bradley started, which is no longer news. But the player who came off the bench in his stead, Ray Allen, was a sub for only the fifth time in his career — with last night the 1,145th game of the Celtics guard’s career. As it turns out, Allen approached Doc Rivers about making the change. The Celtics veteran could sense that a change was coming. ‘Well, people were talking about it,’ he said after the Celtics’ 93-86 loss to the Bulls. ‘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. 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,’ said Allen. ‘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.’ Those words from Allen, who finished with 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting and played the last nine minutes of the fourth quarter, were like music to Rivers. ‘We’ve been talking about this for awhile,’ said the Celtics coach. ‘Our bench is very lean and we’ve been trying to go with some different looks. Ray came to me tonight and wanted to do it. We’re just trying to get ready for the playoffs and our rotations.'”