Ray Allen is having a very nice year for himself down in Miami. He’s doing exactly what they asked, averaging 10.8 points over 25 minutes per game, while hitting a fantastic 42.1 percent of his 3-point attempts. He’s one of the best shooters of all-time and there’s no disputing that. His vital contributions as a member of a Celtics uniform from 2007-2012 remain undisputed as well.
Despite these facts, Allen remains a below-average defender. This has to be expected at age 37, but it’s still a reality. He was never a great defender in the first place, but he’s declining sharply with age. He’s a player teams can attack late in games during crunch time situations. There was perhaps no better example of this than during last night’s terrific Bulls-Heat game.
Chicago appeared to be on the verge of putting Miami away, leading by seven with just under the a minute remaining on the clock and ending their 27-game winning streak. In a switch, Nate Robinson had Allen isolated at the top of the key. The play that followed was a bit painful to watch if you are an Ray fan. In fact, you may just want to turn away from your computer screen.
I know Robinson is a speedy player, but the “defense” Allen played here during an endgame situation was pathetic. In fact, it gave me a flashback to another fantastic play in Celtics history, except this time, the roles were reversed for Ray.
Based on these two plays, it looks like Allen is slowly morphing into our old friend Sasha Vujacic.
So could the Celtics use Ray Allen right now? Absolutely. However plays like this keep Boston from missing him THAT much.