For those of you concerned that Ray Allen had been abducted by a UFO and replaced by a poor-shooting alien facsimile, you can put those concerns to rest for at least one game.
The Ray Allen everyone thought we had acquired showed up at the TD Banknorth Garden for the Boston Celtics game against the Portland Trailblazers. With Paul Pierce working his way through a mild shooting slump of his own, Ray Allen more than made up the difference, scoring 35 points, including 12-20 overall and 4-10 from the arc. He also added three rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
The outburst represented only the second time all season Jesus has tallied 30 or more points. The first time he did so was the second game of the season, way back on November 4. In Ali-Frazier I (the first Pistons game), Allen appeared primed to go off for at least 30, and possibly more. But his teammates somehow failed to get him the ball.
Shooting a paltry .412 on the year, Allen wowed those in attendance not just with the number of baskets he scored, but the manner in which he scored them.
Allen was blowing past multiple defenders for easy layups. He was driving past tall timber, underneath the rim for difficult reverse layups. He even pulled up in the paint for a Rondoesque one-handed floater that barely moved the yarn on its way through the basket.
Most impressive was how Allen played down the stretch. In the final two minutes, Allen had two dagger-in-your-heart three pointers, a 16-footer, and four three throws. When Allen hit the first three pointer, the Cs were up five. By the time the game ended, Allen made sure the Cs had a comfortable margin of victory.
One might argue that the Celtics started the season in mid-season form. Now that we are in mid-season, other teams are catching up to them. This makes some sense, and might explain why the Celtics were able to win earlier games with only 1 or even none of the Big Three playing big.
If the Cs want to maintain any hope of hanging banner #17 this summer, someone other than KG will need start bringing it like Ray Allen did last night.