Post-game Reactions

What do you do with Ray Allen?

It’s all injury-related, of course, but Allen has been nothing short of disastrous shooting the ball in these playoffs. Last night he went 1-7 from the field and 3-7 from the free throw line. He’s at 40% shooting for the playoffs but the ongoing burden of playing on bone-spurred ankles seems to have caught up with him. In the last five games, he’s shooting a ghastly 28.6% from the field and 24% from the three-point line. I don’t even know how to context those numbers. Even a chubby Antoine Walker could step onto the court and give the Celtics more reliable jumpshooting.

What’s worse, Allen is probably still the C’s most prolific offensive option at the SG spot. Because Mickael Pietrus, the obvious understudy considering his defensive abilities and the Dwayne Wade ultimatum, has been even worse. He’s shooting the same 28.6% from the field the last five games but only hitting one out of every eight three-balls (12.5%).

Allen might actually be the better choice for the available minutes because the offense is going to be a bigger problem than defending Wade (this says more about the problems with the offense than it does about Wade, although both are major problems). Allen altered his game last night in what must be some final desperate attempt to give the Boston some production in his remaining games as a Celtic. Allen crashed the boards for 5 rebounds (2 offensive, with another couple of near misses), and also had 2 assists and 2 steals. These are modest numbers over 39 minutes but Pietrus is his own brand of fresh hell, one who’s increasingly skilled at filling up a box score with a batch of zeros.

Of course, Pietrus is light years more capable than Allen defensively which means Doc Rivers has a bunch of unenviable questions to answer with respect to his SG spot.

Is Pietrus’ defensive competence worth sacrificing a potential breakout Allen game by relegating #20 to the bench?  Does Doc need to throw Sasha Pavlovic out there for a spell? Or are we only 36 hours away from the C’s having to play long stretches of zone just to keep Allen on the floor? And most importantly — how are Avery Bradley’s shoulders healing? Are we sure he couldn’t give the Celtics ten minutes right now?

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Ryan DeGama

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  • Jim

    If this were the regular season Ray would not even be playing. He is a warrior but Doc needs to try something else. I think the idea of giving Sasha some playing time at the sg spot is worth trying. We are getting blown out otherwise. I hate watching the Celtics getting puched around like this. Sadly they are too much like a fighter who stayed around too long.

  • The Cardinal

    Ummm, I dunno. I guess Doc feels that if there is any chance of getting a few decent games out of Ray, it's still better than replacing him with any of the reserves because at their best, he doesn't think their performances will be enough or sustainable?

    If that's the case, I can understand remaining loyal to one your greatest players during the past 5 years because in their current state, the C's are clearly over matched and only a miracle performance – i.e., Ray suddenly turning it around offensively along with Pietrus, Pierce, and Bass – will send the C's to the finals.
    Possible? Of course, otherwise I wouldn't be watching. Probable? Uh uh…but if they did, it would be one of the greatest upsets in Celtics history.

    Besides, it's easy to blame Ray for his underwhelming performance, but let's face it – if the other players on the floor were consistently scoring the way that they are capable, we could probably eek out a couple or three wins even with Ray shooting lousy.

  • W2.

    Someone else……..anyone else……sink or swim…..I don't care.

  • ben

    ray gave the same production off the bench as he is now so I don't see why you don't start peaches, he might actually start playing better with more time and make ray come of the bench.

  • High Rollers

    Why not just be a little quicker on the draw and yank RA four to five minutes into the first quarter. That gives KG a minute or two extra on the floor with either Mickael or Sasha (or even ‘Quis potentially). It’s all about the mix and match at this point; heck, it has been all season. Both Doc and Rondo suffered the same problem last night: they fell behind the action. (Look at Ray and the other wings if you want, but it’s the head of the beast that’s deciding where to hunt and how to eat.) My guess is Doc and his court doppleganger study hard for Wednesday. We need to play bigger. There were definitely some height advantages that we simply weren’t ready to take full advantage of last night. In the 2nd quarter, Miami looked really small compared to what we’d seen against Philly. Then we got overthinking, and they sped up. In the ensuing vortex of terror, they ended up looking bigger than they are. We have to say, before anything else and after everything else, KG, you’re seven feet tall, man. Stiemer and Hollins, you’re seven feet tall, too. Their biggest dude out there is either Haslem or Anythony. It’s time to be in the right place at the right time. Okay, enough of that rant.

  • tbunny

    Dubious comfort but I thought Allen's shot actually looked a little better last night. He put up some ducks against the Sixers but was at least getting close last night.

  • JR99

    The logic is pretty undeniable. Bone spurs NEVER go away by themselves (though the pain can come and go). Ray will probably NOT improve, magically, and suddenly give us a great game. That has to be considered wishful thinking. Pietrus is healthy, can give you good D, and MIGHT break out offensively at any moment. The difference is just health. Ray CAN'T break out because he needs surgery. Pietrus CAN — whether he will or not is anybody's guess, but at least with him it's possible. So you go with the possible, not the near-impossible.

    Anyway, yeah…. it's looking very tough. The Cs have run out of bodies after Bradley's shoulder and Ray's ankles.

  • jamie

    At this point since it's a wash between Ray and Pietrus on the offensive end, you have to go with who can guard Wade better, and that's clearly Pietrus. Start Pietrus and either bring Ray off the bench or don't play him at all, which Doc is considering.

    • Rav

      The problem is that it isn't exactly a wash on offense yet: while Pietrus is shooting the same percentage as Ray, defenses don't respect his shot as much. As such, He won't give us as much spacing as Ray running off screens or just simply spotting up behind the arc.

  • emg

    Allen's current missed free throws are not due to bone spurs. Ray Allen could hit 80% seated in a wheel chair. I'm not convinced his poor shooting is proportional to the injury. That's bad news because we can't deify him but it's good news because he had a good deal of open looks. So ironically the missed foul shots are the reason I'd hedge against replacing Allen.

    • Phil

      Why else would a career 90% FT shooter suddenly drop below fifty percent besides a debilitating injury? Lets not overthink things here. Everything Ray does is entirely habitual and repeated probably hundreds of thousands of times. Its obvious that his normal FT motion is messed up by the injury, and even a small tweak is enough to get him out of the form he's mastered.

      He's basically shooting with a permanent knife in his shoe at this point, and its not gonna go away. You can hope for a game where he hits a few threes, but lets not pretend that the real Ray is gonna magically reappear.

      • W2.

        Ray is missing free throws because he is missing jump shots. There is an obvious carry over. He is out of rhythm and it is mental, not only physical.

  • jack

    Peaches…he brings a defensive edge. This is no time for paying your respects to a legend. Miami are insecure and everyone knows this…exploit that.