2.03.2008

My Latest Theory on Ray Allen

I once had a job where I was "the man."

Everything centered on me. My accounts, the operations team, the development team. You name it, and my word was as good as gold.

Knowing what was expected of me, I brought it every day. I had to play at the top of my game or I'd let everybody down, not to mention risk losing my job.

But the job was in a part of the country my wife didn't like.

End of job, though not the end of the story.

I interviewed for any and every job back home, just to make her happy. Found one that was less than inspiring, a job where I sort of muddled through as a cog in the wheels of a machine bigger than me.

In other words, I took one for the team.

That job lasted a couple of years, until I found something better. Looking back, the best word to describe that two-year period is "funk." I had my good days, but mostly I labored under a cloud. I had lost my mojo, because the job didn't require me to have a mojo. It required me to play second-fiddle, subordinate my ego to the team concept.

I say this has been at least part of Ray Allen's problem. Yes, he had double ankle surgery in the off-season, and he has recently confessed to rushing back too soon, even admitting that he played against doctor's advice on occasion.

I'm not convinced that this is the entire story, however.

He is taking 7 fewer shots per game than he did last year, compared to KG and Pierce who are taking 4 fewer shots per game. May not sound like much, but there have been any number of quarters where Jesus didn't make a shot attempt. I can't imagine that happened very often in the past.

Jesus is also shooting eight-percent more threes this year, and eight-percent fewer twos. So not only is he not "the man" for the Celtics, he's often been relegated to a role as a spot-up three point shooter. Boxing Jesus into such a defined role deprived him of his mojo, and forced him to play a game that was easier to defend.

Ray Allen is the consummate professional. Poised and intelligent. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing him roam the parquet in a suit one day.

Today, however, we need to get Doc and Ray on the same page. Ray needs to feel like he's a killer app and not just an .ini file (sorry for the IT reference) . The mere fact that Jesus can turn it on at a moment's notice against the Mavs after the All-Star snub tells me that we're not too far away from seeing the old Ray Allen on a more consistent basis.

We're gonna need that Ray Allen against Kobe and company in the Finals.

1 comment:

Jason said...

totally agree. I think him getting more looks while KG is out will help his flow.

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