Allen not worried about his shots
May, 17, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett wants to get Ray Allen more shots in this series against the 76ers.PHILADELPHIA -- Ever the pleaser, Kevin Garnett looked at Ray Allen in the Celtics' locker room after Wednesday's Game 3 win over the 76ers and told him how the team needed to get more shots. Allen just smiled and, knowing Garnett was exhausted after a 27-point, 13-rebound effort that saw him put up a whopping 17 shots, told him not to worry about Allen's output.
"I know (Garnett) at times, he gets tired and it looks like we’re really going to him a lot. I want to help him as much as I can," said Allen. "But he told me last night in the locker room, ‘We gotta do whatever we can to get you open.’ And I looked at him and I said, ‘Kevin, you're the guy that’s getting the shots, you're the guy that’s scoring. We just won by 20. I don’t need (shots), for the sake of my ego or anything like that. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing. If they’re going to continue to guard us this way, you gotta keep doing what you’re doing, because we’re going to keep giving you the ball.'"
Wednesday's victory was the only time in Allen's career that he's taken less than four shots in a playoff game (that came back on May 6, 2008 when he was 0 for 4 in a win over Cleveland). In 115 other career playoff games, Allen had never attempted less than six shots per contest.
But if Boston's offense is going to put up 107 points, Allen isn't going to bark about touches. No, he's content to grab four rebounds over 25:26 and spend the night as a bit of a decoy if it results in lopsided wins.
"It’s the playoffs, so you gotta play to your second and third option, try to get easy baskets," said Allen. "They're trying to take me and Paul (Pierce) out of the game. Paul, yesterday, he attacked early in transition; Rondo attacked in transition, so those plays were tough to stop. All of our set stuff, they’re trying to take away. So when I come off screens, they’re contributing two guys to me. So to be out there, I have to have some type of impact other than scoring, so I gotta make sure I’m giving help, defensively, on the big guys down low, and definitely rebounding, which has been our Achilles' (heel) all year. In order to win in these playoffs, we have to rebound, and that gives us transition buckets. For us guards, we have to give a more conscious effort on rebounding."
Allen is in the final year of his contract and a diminished role could entice him to look elsewhere after the season. Asked about this being the potential last rodeo for the Big Three, he echoed the company line and said that's been the buzz for numerous years and said he couldn't focus on it now.
"You just have to not worry about tomorrow and focus on the present, because there’s a lot happening in the present," said Allen.
What's maybe more noteworthy is that Allen made it through an entire press interview without the subject of his balky right ankle being brought up, an encouraging sign in his progress through bone spurs that forced him to sit out the first two games of the postseason.