Or at least Doc Rivers, Gary Washburn, and myself.
Anyone entertaining thoughts about dealing Ray Allen and his monster expiring contract this season, should read today’s Globe’s Gary Washburn article:
“Even if he doesn’t shoot well, you still have to guard him and it gives us great spacing,’’ Rivers said. “I put Ray Allen on the floor and if he misses 50 in a row, on the 51st play, if I tell him to stand behind the 3 [point line] there’s going to be a guy right next to him. And it gives us spacing and even if he’s not shooting, his value is immeasurable.’’
The importance of spacing cannot be overstated. More often than not, Ray will knock down a wide open shot should a team decide to double off of him. I also believe he’s on his own road to recovery. He’s seems to be alternating between on games and off games, which is a good sign that he could return to form by midseason. Who knows? Perhaps changing his offseason routine and getting into his self-explained “best shape of his life” hindered his shot. Maybe his son Walker’s health issues are hindering his concentration. Or maybe he’s just starting unsually slow. Whatever it is, it’s not a cause for concern….yet.
Earlier in the article, Doc describes Ray’s stepping up on defense:
“It’s funny you noticed because we were kidding with him that I thought it was one of his better games,’’ Rivers said of the Oklahoma City game. “And San Antonio as well on [Manu] Ginobili at times. What we want him to do as much as possible is to keep the ball square and then contest shots and I thought he did both. Harden, I don’t think, got a shot off without a hand in his face. He was right in his face. When Ray does that, it brings another dimension to our defense.’’
A few commenters on this site feel like Ray is completely useless on defense but I feel like that is a bit overstated. There’s no doubt that Ray Allen is not an elite defender. But I’ve always felt he does a good job staying in front of his man, not gambling on steals, and- let’s keep in mind- he usually starts the game guarding the opposing team’s best player. Anyway who draws that job day in, day out can look foolish at times.
That’s it for now. Happy Tuesday.