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?