Ray Allen looks to have lost a step — or a few — during the Cetlics recent playoff run. The 36-year-old guard is averaging just 9.6 points per game this postseason and is shooting a concerning 27 percent (15 of 56) on 3-pointers during the playoffs as well.
The shooting woes are a definite concern for the Celtics, and sitting down the 10-time All Star has been an idea tossed around as of late. Allen may be struggling, but he made his case for remaining on the floor on Tuesday, according to ESPN.
"My trainers and I discussed [taking a game off]," Allen acknowleedged, "but I really, really do not want go that route. Just put me out there and let me do the best I can."
Doc Rivers agreed that the idea had been discussed, but the Celtics head coach didn't seem interested in sitting the NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter and he remained confident in Allen's ability to turn things around.
"We're good. Ray is Ray. We're going to just keep rolling him out there and see what we can get. When we feel like he can't give it to us, we'll go with someone else," Rivers said. "But I think right now, you have to give Ray a fighting chance."
Rivers admitted that the decision was made even more difficult given Boston's 1-0 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami. But he also udnerstands that sometimes the hard decision is the right one.
"It's just a decision you make in the game," Rivers said. "It's a tough one, but you go into the game and you watch. It's just going to be that way. It's not the easiest thing to do. It's obviously hard for Ray. I'm sure there will be a time when I take him out and he's going to be feeling great. It's just something you see."
Allen's struggles to keep up on the defensive end, as well as his struggles from the free throw line during the playoffs, have raised even more questions about the health of his already unsturdy ankle. Rivers was very upfront about Allen's unsteadiness on the floor, attributing much of his struggles to the injury.
"I don't think he has his balance. You could see it on his [missed] free throws, or he's falling forward or kicking his leg out on every shot. When you watch Ray, he's up and down — if you drew a square box, usually Ray always lands in the box. Right now, he's all over the place — leaning, going sideways, falling forward. It's somewhat of a balance issue, but it's all created by the [ankle] issue."
Allen noted on Tuesday that his ankle was feeling worse and that he hadn't received a cortisone shot in weeks saying,"the last three or four days have been pretty painful."
The Celtics have a long, arduous road ahead of them if they expect to beat the Heat and make it to the finals for one last hurrah. But if Allen isn't healthy enough to contribute, it may be time for Doc to look elsewhere for solid contributions.
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