• I promised a bit more on Tom Haberstroh’s piece at ESPN.com evaluating Ray Allen’s market value, so here are a couple of the more interesting tidbits:
Allen exposes his biggest weakness when he’s forced to take his man off the dribble. In fact, he was one of the worst in the NBA this past season, shooting just 11-for-39 in isolation situations. Luckily, those made up only 4.3 percent of his scoring plays, according to Synergy Sports Technology.
All told, he generated 31.6 percent of his scoring plays from off-the-ball screens this past season, topping all NBA starters.
The stats paint a picture of a player that is becoming increasingly dependent on others for his offense, and one whose ability to take over primary ball-handling duties in a pinch—something Ray did often with the bench this season—is fading badly.
I’ll have much more on Ray this week, but I’ll say this now: The team should hold firm on two years, so that any Allen deal would expire at the same time as Garnett’s deal. If Ray’s team pushes for a third season, offer a team option and leave it at that. Allen turns 35 in about three weeks, and the track record for shooting guards over 35 is basically non-existent. Allen is a fitness freak and could absolutely be an exception, but the team should make him prove that.
The thing is, though, that if Paul Pierce exercises his $21M option, Ray’s team will have the C’s in a tight-ish spot. The team will be well over the cap with few (if any) immediately desirable trade assets. The roster will be what it is, and Ray’s team could basically say, “Hey, you can re-sign your shooting guard or basically stand pat and take your chances with the mid-level exception. You’re stuck with what you’ve got.”
The next week is going to be very interesting.
• Danny Ainge knows he could lose his head coach soon, and he’s playing ever card possible to keep Doc around (via Scott Souza):
Doc Rivers, who expects to decide within the week whether he will return to coach the Celtics for the final year of his contract, said he listened to Ainge talk for two days about the strengths of potential picks. Finally, when it came time to determine the top target, Rivers said Ainge went to his closing argument.
“He said: ‘I really think you’d like coaching this guy,”‘ Rivers said.
That’s it for now. Enjoy your Sunday.