For what has become such a likeable guy, it is hard to look down upon Ray Allen. He loves the city of Boston, wants to remain in Boston, loves the Celtics as a team not only because they are a winning franchise, but as well an organization based around class. If there is any image of a player that you want people to remember your team as, it is Ray Allen. He does many fundraising events and uses the fact that he is a well paid, and a famous athlete to his advantage on his quest to help other people. He is not some thug off the street which makes it tough to say we need better. His production from a basketball standpoint, however, is not meeting expectations. His performance (or lack thereof) in last nights game against the Lakers stuck out like a sore thumb.
34 Minutes / 2-10 FG / 0-6 3P / 3-3 FT / -16 (+/-) / 7 Points
Ray had the lowest +/- of any player, on any team , by a large margin. As that is not a stat that is completely under his control, his defense and shooting is. 0-6 shooting threes is not a good sign. Allen had many chances in last nights game to hit a big 3 that would really get the crowd going and swing momentum largely on the side of the C’s, but could not come through. So he took 4 other field goal attempts, and made half of them. As I remember back on the game, his first 2 shots he took were the ones to go down for him. After that he took 2 shots that he has been attempting this year for who knows what reason. The shots, as you may remember from my description, were the ones where he gets into the lane, around the free throw line, and kind of does a runner where his defender is locked up under his elbows. Degree of difficulty is right up there thats for sure.
As for his defense, hey, I can’t complain. He was putting Kobe in the some tough positions to make plays. We have been keying on his lack of defense this year, but as for last night against the Lakers, he had it going. You may say, “Ya but Kobe hit the game winner on him.” To which I say, “Watch again”. Ray Allen could not have played better defense on that play, plain and simple. He did what had to be done, but in the end not even the best defense can stop a scorer from close range.
I’m not sure what needs to be done, but I expect more out of Ray Allen. Maybe it has been programmed into me after all of the huge shots he hit in last years playoffs? Maybe I am simply expecting too much from him? That could be the case, but clearly his numbers are way down. For right now, I think he is trying too hard. He is taking the whole, “If you’re a shooter, shoot” to a whole nother level. He is TRYING to get himself out of the slump instead of letting the flow of the game take him out of it instead. I know, I know, it is much easier said than done. I can say that very easily sitting in my living room typing on a lap top now can’t I? As the year progresses,this team NEEDS more out of Allen if they want to stay near the top of the Eastern Conference, and make a good push through the playoffs.
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