Was Ray Allen’s Form or Lakers’ Defense to Blame for Game 3 Shooting Nightmare?


Was Ray Allen's Form or Lakers' Defense to Blame for Game 3 Shooting Nightmare? In the immediate aftermath of the Celtics' Game 3 loss to the Lakers, it was hard to try to find words to explain what had happened to Ray Allen. The morning after, at least we have some video.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com broke down the film of Game 3, seeking to figure out how Allen went from making history for most 3-pointers made in a Finals game on Sunday, to flirting with a less attractive record — most attempts without hitting a shot.

"You'd have to call 14 years worth of Ray Allen game logs to find an outing that rivals this one in Game 3," Arnovitz said in his video breakdown. "The fact that Tuesday's nightmare comes on the heels on such a transcendent performance makes it all the more intriguing."

Intriguing as it may be, Celtics fans want answers. Was Ray simply off, or was the Lakers' defense keying on the C's sharpshooter? The answer is a little bit of both.

As Arnovitz' breakdown below shows, there were times when Phil Jackson had his Lakers in perfect position to keep Allen from getting open looks, thanks largely to the efforts of Derek Fisher (who clearly had something to prove after Game 2). There were, however, other times, when Allen simply misfired. It could have been tired legs (or injured legs, after taking a bump in the first half), or it simply could have been one of those nights.

Ultimately, Jackson and the Lakers probably deserve the most credit. While Allen should have hit a few of his open looks, it was obvious that the Lakers decided to employ an "Anyone But Ray" defense, and it worked.

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