The NBA suspended Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen for one game -- to be served during tonight's game against the 76ers. Allen elbowed the Cleveland Cavalier forward Anderson Varejao in the groin during the Cavaliers recent 31-point blowout of the Celtics.
NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Stu Jackson, announced the suspension a few minutes ago.
The incident occured with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter of the 107-76 Cleveland win on Sunday.
So, the Sixers will face a Boston Celtics team without Allen and without forward Kevin Garnett, who will also miss the game. Quickly, a game that seemed a very, very difficult win has become, almost, a game the Sixers should win. No Allen, No Garnett, No reason for the Celtics to be on their game. Plenty of reason for the Sixers to care: A win ties them with the Bulls for sixth *(per Statman's correction, Sixers won season series with Detroit, can't slip below Pistons). With tomorrow's game at the Cleveland Cavaliers, who will be trying to tie the NBA's all-time home record in a season, this is looking very much like the Sixers last chance to avoid ending this regular season on a seven-game losing streak.
With Thaddeus Young back for tonight's game -- albeit in short stints -- the Sixers have that missing dimension back. This is the best-case for these Sixers, getting Young back for two games before the playoffs. Now he can work out the game legs and the kinks in the regular season, not in the middle of an intense playoff series. Sixers coach Tony DiLeo said to look for Young to play 4, 5 minutes at a time. While we might not see the Young we were seeing when he went down, his ability to play tonight certainly should increase the Sixers effectiveness in the playoffs.