On the day after Ray Allen was formally introduced as a member of the Miami Heat, it’s time for a bit of reflection. While some may not be ready to appreciate Ray’s tenure in Green yet (which is completely understandable) Allen had a historically memorable run in Beantown. With this in mind, I have put together a full five-year compilation of the very best of Ray Allen in Green.
So grab some popcorn, keep a tissue handy, put work on the back-burner for about an hour and take a stroll down memory lane to enjoy the best Ray had to offer — while also hoping he won’t be able to replicate these kinds of moments over the next three years.
2007-08: Year 1
One of the first interviews with The Big Three together. Ray you’ll notice does a lot of the talking here. Seems like he enjoys the attention and appreciation. Okay, I’ll stop with the cheap shots and stick to the basketball goodness.
The Debut. (November 2007 vs. Wizards) A tidy 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 2-of-5 from downtown. This efficency from Allen was just a sign of things to come. I also don’t think Gilbert Arenas was allowed to make predictions anymore after guaranteeing a win in this game for Washington.
The first game-winner. (November 2007 vs. Raptors) Allen comes off a screen from Kevin Garnett to drill the game-winner across the border in just his second game as a Celtic. Somehow, I think this won’t be only time we see this during this compilation.
The most improbable game-winner? (November 2007 vs. Bobcats) Celtics trail by 2 with five seconds remaining. Bobcats have the ball to inbound. Game over right? Not quite. Best part of this clip is the Bobcats’ reaction after the shot and Tommy Heinsohn’s commentary.
The Layup (Game 4 NBA Finals vs. Lakers, June 2008) This needs no introduction and is perhaps one of the only times in a Celtic uniform, Allen was able to hold the ball on an isolation in the fourth quarter. He made the most of it here, in essence clinching the game and essentially the title for Boston. Ray also made Sasha Vujacic pretty upset on the bench afterwards, which is never a bad thing. That’s what happens Sasha when you don’t play defense when your season is on the line.
The Demolition (Game 6 vs. Lakers, 2008 NBA Finals) 26 points for Allen in Game 6, including 7-of-9 from downtown. Here are the full second half highlights, because they are mostly Ray 3’s and all worth watching.
2008-2009: Year 2
The Masterpiece (January 2009 vs. Toronto): No one will probably remember this, but that’s what these collections are for. Allen’s numbers from this evening: 36 points on 11-of-14 shooting, (8-of-10 from 3-point range!) I know it was against the Raptors but still! C’s needed them all in a 94-88 win.
The back-to-back daggers: (February 2009 vs. Sixers). “Leave me open once, shame on you,” Allen said. “Leave me open twice, you lose,” he continued. This play would become a go-to end-of-game option for Doc for the next three years (for better or worse).
The Double OT comeback: (April 2009 vs. Bobcats): One of my favorite comebacks of the past five years. Perhaps more impressive than Allen’s game-winner here is the fact the C’s rallied down 8 with 2:02 remaining in regulation to force OT. This was all when KG was sidelined by the way. How good Boston was this season before and after Garnett got hurt still upsets me for what could have been.
Bulls Game-Winner 1 (Gm 2 vs. Bulls 2009 First Round, April 2009): Allen may have been the best player on the floor during one of the best playoff series of all-time. Hitting a three to win the game is clutch….but doing it over Joakim Noah? Even better.
The Wasted Masterpiece (Gm 6 vs. Chicago 2009 First Round): 51 points in triple overtime….clutch 3 after clutch 3….still not enough to steal the game and win the series. As pathetic as this sounds, the fact Ray wasn’t able to shoot the ball more (18-of-32) in 59 minutes was probably to the C’s detriment in this one. In the meantime, I still wonder how deep Chicago would have gone that postseason if they got past Boston. I feel like they would have given Orlando a run for their money as well.
2009-10: Year 3
The Start of The Run (Gm 2 vs. Miami Heat 1st round April 2010): Kevin Garnett was suspended for this game after elbowing Quentin Richardson in Game 1, but it didn’t matter. Ray Allen hit 7-of-9 from downtown in another game you probably don’t remember he shot so well. Ray just had too many of these kinds of efforts in the postseason so they meshed together. Sigh.
The Upset: (Gm 5 vs. Cleveland, 2nd Round May 2010): 25 points, 6-of-9 from downtown as the C’s dismantled LeBron and company on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. This game came as a complete surprise to the NBA world at large….except for Celtics fans who saw it coming.
The Record-Setting Performance: (NBA Finals vs. Lakers Game 2, June 2010): Eight three-pointers in one half? Yep, I counted them all, eight three-pointers in one half.
2010-2011 Year Four
South Beach Domination: (November 2010 vs. Miami): Ray Allen helped welcome LeBron and company during their first hosting of the C’s in South Beach with 35 points, including 7-9 from distance in a Celtics win. Before the Perk trade that season, everyone forgets that Boston owned Miami (3-0 against).
New York, New York: (vs. Knicks December 2010): Allen posts 26 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute remaining to help C’s win a 118=116 shootout with the Knicks. In a related story, Ray killed the Knicks with 3’s all year. Stay tuned.
Domination from inside the arc (vs. Spurs January 2011): Allen goes 13-of-16, including (11-of-12!) from two-point range to post 31 points in a tight win over the Spurs. Another one most people had just forgotten about. I know I had.
The All-Time Record: (vs. Lakers February 2011): Allen becomes the all-time leader in 3-point field goals, passing Reggie Miller and hugging everyone and everything at courtside afterwards.
Knicks Game-Winner: (Gm 1 vs. Knicks 2011 First Round, April 2011): Celtics play like crap at the Garden for the majority of the 48 minutes, Allen bails them out with a game-winning three with 20 seconds remaining.
New York Beatdown Continued: (Gm 3 vs. Knicks 2011 First Round, April 2011): After a competitive first two games in Boston, Ray helps the C’s put the Knicks out of their misery, scoring 32 points while draining eight 3-pointers in this offensive clinic.
2011-2012 Year Five
Ready after Lockout Ray: (vs. Heat December 2011) While the rest of the Celtics showed up for the regular season out of shape and attempted to get their bearings, Allen was the consumate pro, hitting 6-of-8 from downtown and scoring 28 points, helping lead a late Celtics charge before falling short in South Beach 115-107.
One of the Last Classics (vs. Wizards, January 2012): Before the ankle injury sidetracked Allen’s shooting for the second half of the season, this was one of final Ray classics in a Celtic uniform. 27 points, 6-of-7 from downtown. How did we let this guy leave again?
Ray Crazy Shot Just for Fun (vs. Bucks March 2012) Self-explanatory.
The End (Post-Game 7 vs. Miami June 2012)
After watching this in full, I’m considering sending this full collection to Danny, Wyc Grousbeck and company to ask why the C’s couldn’t find a way to give Allen the $9 million per year he wanted. I’m kidding on that of course…..I think. For now though, Allen is gone but Celtic fans will still have these fond memories to reflect on for years to come.
Thanks for the memories Ray.