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The Way I See It…

 

love-of-Ray5

Jeff Clark thinks he’s not on the block yet, RedsArmy thinks he should be playing less minutes, and I think, the guy just stinks right now. 

Let me clarify:  Ray Allen is still a great player, but he’s shooting terribly.  Right now, he’s shooting 30.4% from three, far and away the lowest of his career (albeit a small sample size, okay I get it).  However, it’s not just the percentage, it’s the shots he’s missing.  Wide open, uncontested, in rhythm jump shots.

Ray Allen has been, without a doubt, an NBA superstar for his career.  But to be a superstar, you’ve got to play like a superstar.  This doesn’t necessarily mean dropping 30 like Kobe Bryant or making tough shots with a hand in your face like Reggie Miller. 

To be a superstar, you at least have to make the shots that are gift-wrapped for you- like one against the Knicks this weekend.  Allen got a wide open three from the right corner, had time to set his feet, had time to rise up in rhythm, and he ends up shooting the biggest brick.  Honestly,  I’m surprised it didn’t break the rim when it clanged off the front of it. 

To be a superstar, if the ball is in your hands in the waining seconds of a losing battle, you don’t dribble it off your foot (or just whiff on a fake cross-over, I couldn’t tell) as he did against Orlando.

More ranting after the jump.

That….was a rant.  And after a rant like that, I have to add one important fact: I am a huge Ray Allen fan.  I always have been.  From UCONN to the Bucks to even when he was the only player up in Seattle.  This is why watching him miss wide open threes is so painful.  This is why no longer thinking a good three point shot from Ray is actually good is the worst part of watching C’s games this season. 

Threes can be back-breaking.  That’s one of the reasons why Ray Allen can be so deadly.  When you take away that threat,  Ray Allen is just an old guy who gets no respect…

“Never mind that he bricked five of six 3-point attempts, dropping his percentage from behind the arc to 30.3 percent. The refs dissed him even harder late in regulation when, with Boston ahead 98-96 and trying to run down the clock, Allen had the ball in the corner as a double-team came at him. With Wilson Chandler clearly grabbing his jersey to keep Allen from driving around him, Allen was called for an offensive foul. The Knicks then tied the game on the ensuing possession to help send the game to overtime.” ~ Chris Sheridan (Insider)

…at least in the narrow scope of national coverage.  The truth is Ray Ray may not be shooting as well as he should be, but he’s been much more aggressive going to the basket.  I think he’s even had three dunks on the season, which brings his grand total for the decade to seven.  Joking aside, this aggressiveness is extrememly welcomed, especially if he can use it to get to the line.

On another note, I don’t want to hear the “Ray Allen’s old” excuse.  He can either play or he can’t.  If he’s injured, as RedsArmy suggests, that’s a different story but if he’s just too old than he shouldn’t be playing, let alone starting.  That’s why I don’t think he’s too old, he’s just playing poorly right now.  Besides, if “being old” is an excuse, than how can the C’s rely on Pierce as much as they have both offensively and defensively?  For me, it just don’t hold water.

So my question to you is, what do you do with Ray Allen?

Recently during a chat with Chad Ford, someone asked a question regarding trading Ray Allen and TA for Nocioni and Kevin Martin.  Ford dismissed it due to the salary implications but I dismiss it for a few other reasons.  Do you really want Kevin Martin as your superstar heading into the future?  I do not.  Also, if you trade Ray Allen for Kevin Martin and the Celts don’t gel, you can guarantee Paul Pierce is not opting out of his contract and you guarantee the winning window closing tightly.

If you play Ray less, who do you play in his place?  Eddie House can’t dribble or create his own shot and, oh right, he’s not shooting particularly well either (40% on 47 shots).

So again, what do you do?

I believe the only thing the C’s can do is sleep in the bed they have made.  You don’t trade Ray and you don’t play him less (okay maybe a few minutes less, but wasn’t that the plan all along?). Things could turn around, I mean, it’s only been 14 games…..uggh.

  • George

    Yes, Ray is shooting horribly. Yes, so is Sheed. So is Rondo. So is the entire offense. Seems like ever since the blowout against the Jazz, nothing is falling. With Ray, I only hope this offensive slump is getting out of the way early this year, and it won’t happen again through an entire playoff series (or 2?). Him getting to the rack more certainly implies the opposite of him being injured, so I have no idea what to think. Please don’t let him just be too old. Please?

  • Brendan Jackson

    @George
    Excellent point about the “injured” hypothesis. I meant to write a little about that. I don’t buy that the “jumper’s knee” that RedsArmy discussed is bothering him for the exact reason you mentioned. Players who are injured aren’t likely to take it to the rack aggressively like Ray has been doing. And everyone and their little brother wear those knee bands.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    I wasn’t watching much celtics last year when i heard trade rumors on rayray…..so thought it was just reporters spreading FUD…..they can’t trade 1 of the big3 – right?! But watching every game this year, the guy has lost a lot. Shooting can come and go, but he is getting killed on D. You have to be able to stop star 2s, and Pierce can’t be asked to do it on both ends every night. If the rest of the O was flowing better, I think Doc would be putting Marquis in for more extended minutes. Trying Eddie House at the end of games is one thing, but it isn’t the solution. IMHO, the ideal scenario has to be for Rondo to facilitate less, and be more aggressive offensively…..he signed the contract, now he has to take an expanded role that they need it……if that works out…..then start Marquis, and Ray becomes the new Eddie. Otherwise, trade him for athleticism. Current set-up is not going to take the Cs deep, so Ainge & Doc need to experiment.

    BTW: Huge respect for Ray, his career and his professionalism and work ethic. And his dunk on the suns in the closing minutes was insane….brought the house down. But also further proof that the man is not injured.

  • Conall Mac Michael

    Nice piece and I agree mostly with what people are adding. Quick question: What the hell is that picture of Ray, please don’t tell me its an actual album cover. Please for the love of God tell me its a fake.

  • str|ps

    it has the trimmings of a great sitcom…maybe after this season no?

  • Brendan Jackson

    @Conall
    Have you ever seen that show “For the Love of Ray J”? If not, google it.

    @Strlps
    Definitely some retirement mulling required.

  • Conall Mac Michael

    I shall check it. Obviously that show didn’t cross the Atlantic. Probably a good thing. Cheers

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