Post-game Reactions

Ray Allen is a decent human being. He’s won the Sportsmanship Award. He’s been written up for his decency by legitimate news sources. He’s on that NBA Cares tip. He reads. He made his team visit the Holocaust Memorial. My girlfriend knows that Ray Allen’s a good guy, and she pronounces Celtics with a hard “C.”

But behind that gentle smile is a hugely, almost oppressively confident dude. He talks often of his need to be the best at anything he does. He’s obsessed with his clothes and taking care of his immaculate scalp. He gets upset when anyone refers to his God-given talent: “I tell those people, ‘Don’t undermine the work I’ve put in every day.’” He butted heads with George Karl and his Milwaukee teammates and fought Doc’s style when he first showed up in Boston.

And last night, he refused to sit down when everyone, including possibly Doc himself, thought he should.

As Doc himself admitted, he was considering sitting Ray for Game 2 before Ray outright shot down that idea. Doc had his reasons: Ray’s legs were all over the place on his jumpers (distressing for someone who prides himself on his “phone booth” shooting form), and his ankles hurt so badly he can’t even work out (an essential part of his daily game prep). But as Doc and the training staff deliberated, Ray went to them and presumably told them the same thing he told Chris Forsberg: “I really, really do not want to go that route. Just put me out there and let me do the best I can.”

The on-court results have dictated the response to Ray’s behavior: he shot pretty well and played passable defense on Dwyane Wade, so now it’s easy to say that Ray “knows his abilities” better than anyone else does and he was right to play. But I assure you those results had nothing to do with Ray’s decision.

If he had any say in the decision, Ray was going to play no matter what. He would have played even if he was only capable of repeating his Game 1 shooting. He would have played on one ankle, or with both his ankles fused together, or on four ankles. When he hits a skid, even if it’s clearly brought about by an injury that can only be fixed through surgery, he believes he can shoot his way out of it. That’s who he is. And it’s not entirely about his devotion to his team: it’s also that Ray believes to a fault that he’s the best shooter on the floor at all times, and he will accept no argument to the contrary. He may still not be 100% fixed: his balance still looked shaky even on his makes last night, he had virtually no luck getting any clearance from his defenders with his speed, and he airballed a three. But if it’s up to him, he’s going to play.

I love Ray for what he is, not what people think he is. I actually think his being an OCD weirdo is more interesting than him being pure sunshine and bubblegum. But his confidence is, one way or another, likely to be one of the deciding factors of this series. If Ray hits 40% of his threes the rest of the way and gives Boston the fourth scoring option they need to win, great. That’s what we signed up for with him. But if he backslides? Loses his legs again, and opens the floor up for Wade to go off every night, all because of his unshakeable pride? We signed up for that, too.

The following two tabs change content below.

Hayes Davenport

Latest posts by Hayes Davenport (see all)

Share →
  • zach

    I love Ray but this summer is the right time to cut bait with him. We can't have him and Pierce in the same line-up, but with Bradley at the 2 we are actually a fast team.

    • Zee

      Ray makes a great bench player. You don't have to cut bait. I disagree.

      • zach

        if he is willing to come off the bench and sign for cheap it would be great to have him back, but I think he is going to want a big contract, and I think Boston may need to prioritize speed and athleticism a bit more, given the committment to Pierce (you can only have so many old guys on a successful NBA team!)

  • High Rollers

    Very interesting humble brag on your own ability to cut the crap, Hayes. Seriously, though, very interesting thoughts and a truthful bottom line. You guys are on a roll. Look what inspiring play and performance from a bunch of men at a kid’s game can bring. Beautiful words, intriguing thoughts. Keep it up.

  • Batman

    Sad seeing Ray's time with us come to an end like this
    Ray's relationship with us has always been the shakiest and oddest. When Danny was looking to retool, remember Ray was the only Big 3 member he was willing to trade around 2009 for some random Pistons players
    But hes given us everything and laid his heart out for us, and even if we remember how he shot 5-50 after Game 2 in the 2010 NBA finals, I still love him for what he did for us

  • High Rollers

    From the team's website: "RT @ChrisWilcox44: Tough game last night. Wish I was out there fighting alongside my teammates. Tomorrow at home we need our fans…"

    The refs can play 6th, 7th, and 8th Man for the Heat all they want. Boston fans will be 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, …, 17,545th Man for the Mighty Celtics Friday night.

    All y'all with the privilege of being there, bring 48 minutes of pure electricity.

    • greenboner

      they should bring some sniper rifles and keep them trained on david sterns minions.

  • skeeds

    Offcourse Ray's not humble. Offcourse he's stubborn. How many people on the top of record lists are humble?
    If one guy should have the balls to try and shoot his way out of a slump while his ankle's falling off, it's Ray. And I'm proud for him. As I am proud of Pierce thinking that he can control LBJ by himself, although he can't. And KG, for playing like he's 25 years old, even though we all know he's running only on adrenaline by now.

    This is how the big 3 era was supposed to end, guys. Three proud old dogs battling to the end on shaky legs and hurt egos. That's how it was supposed to be. Now let's win 2 in Boston and scare the sh!t out of those freakishly good Heat superstars.

  • mikebass14

    Nice article. I agree that people make Ray into who they want him to be sometimes and that he’s in fact much more interesting than that.

  • lucidsportsfan

    He did knock down that one huge three to tie the game last night. But he also missed one that would have put them up 8 in the 4th and practically sealed it. It's just a shame they didn't end up on top last night. sadly, I don't think we can really blame anyone. http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2012_05_27_archive….

    • Big 4 fan

      And Lebron also missed a shot that would have sealed the game for Miami before the overtime. Like Doc says, it's a make miss league. All players miss shots but the point is he went out there and put all he could into that game while hurt. If he didnt make that last shot there would not have been an overtime.

      Oh and did i mention that Lebron missed that shot while taking a jump shot over RONDO!!!!!!

  • Sophomore

    Ray also had two crucial mistakes late in the game. With the Celts up by 5, he stole the ball with D Wade between him and the goal. Instead of letting the offense get set, burning clock and getting a good shot, he went right at Wade and had his shot rejected. Result – a transition opportunity and basket for the Heat. Should've known better at a key point in the game. A few possessions later he took a very early long 2, moving away from the basket, off a curl. Bad shot, Heat ball. One of many plays in the game, but bad choices at key moments.

    • r4zor

      it's true about the layup. as for the shot, when he was healthy, i always thought his shot was always ridiculous. yet, it always seem to go in! so while to us, it was a bad shot, the truth is, it's RAY ALLEN. for him, all shots are good shots.

  • Tom

    Honestly i think the celtics are going to win game 3, they wont win the series but they will definitely win game 3. They always play better when desperate and they should be desperate right now! i wrote all about it here and how to bet it so coem read and enjoy! http://www.acesportsbook.com/is-there-anything-le

  • Mike C

    Man, I loves me some Ray-Ray, and always will.

    But watching his D these days makes me miss that other Allen (i.e., Tony). THAT dude could get in Wade's way like nobody's business…

  • vasco

    C's need to re-sign him. Ray Allen is a precious thing. A one of a kind. What kind of fool would say you need to let him go? It's Ray Allen! The hardest working player in basketball. He's 37 years old, and look at him! He's playing with knives on his foot! But he's playing, he's not complaining.

  • Confident dude.I liked him the way of nature that played in the game.thanks for lovely sharing about my favorite player.

  • Generally I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at Ray Allen and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice