Anybody who has watched the Boston Celtics this postseason will tell you they haven’t seen the Ray Allen that they’re used to. Allen is one of the greatest shooters of all time, but he’s clearly been struggling.
In Game 1 against the Miami Heat, Allen shot 1-7 from the floor for 6 points. He also hit only 3 of his 7 free throws, making him 18-30 in the playoffs, which is astonishing considering he’s a career 89% free throw shooter.
“I’m just trying to find my balance,” Allen said after Monday’s Game 1 loss to the Heat. “I feel good over it, I’m just not in a great rhythm right now. I just know I don’t have good timing right now. The shot feels fine. If it’s short, I know that I do have less lift on it. I just take it day by day, trying to figure out what I’m dealing with. I do have restrictions. That’s why we have a great team here, why we have each other.
“I believe you guys know what I’m dealing with. It’s nothing really to talk about. It’s like a battle within myself, I have to try to win. It’s a daily situation I have to deal with. This is the time I need to be out here to help the team win. When the season’s over with, I’ll have to deal with what I have to deal with myself, personally. Right now, it’s the playoffs and you play.”
ESPN tweeted that Allen was out at American Airlines Arena at 10:30 this morning shooting free throws. Some extra practice can’t hurt, but there may not be a quick fix. Celtics coach Doc Rivers says that he would consider sitting Allen for a game to help him recover from his injuries and get a little rest.
“It’s a tough call with him,” Rivers said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re trying to figure out a different minute rotation for him, maybe that will help him. We’re even considering sitting him for a game, getting him a longer rest and then playing him, and then sitting him for a game. We don’t know what the right thing is.”
The Celtics need to figure out what the right thing is quickly. The clock is ticking and the Heat won’t be making it any easier on them. Sitting Ray Allen may not be a possibility with Avery Bradley out for the rest of the season. Mickael Pietrus is already playing a lot more minutes than he normally would, that number could go even higher if Allen sits and the Celtics would have to go even deeper into their bench. That will make things extremely tough against a very talented Heat team.
Right now the Celtics can’t afford to sit Ray Allen, but if he keeps playing like this, can they afford not to?