Lack of shots doesn't mean lack of impact
May, 18, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesRay Allen insists his low shot output in Game 3 is not a concern to him.PHILADELPHIA -- After Celtics reserve guard Ray Allen got up only one shot in Wednesday's Game 3 win over the 76ers, there remains a lot of chatter about whether he needs more touches moving forward.
Allen continues to suggest he's perfectly fine with a low shot output if Boston continues to win lopsided playoff games. And Celtics coach Doc Rivers pointed out Friday morning that Allen impacts the game whether he's rifling off 14 shots (like he did while scoring 17 points in Game 2) or a single shot in Game 3.
"I don’t have to change anything tonight that happened from the last game," said Allen. "The way they guarded me, the way they guarded us as a team -- the final score was the result that we were all hoping for. I can do everything this whole day the same way, go into the game and handle it the same way. The object is to win."
Wednesday's Game 3 was the first time in 117 playoff games that Allen had less than four shots in a postseason contest. What's more, it was only the second time in his career that he generated just one shot in a game. The other? Back on Jan. 11, 2006, when Allen, then with the Seattle SuperSonics, and Keyon Dooling, then with the Orlando Magic, got tossed for a second-quarter dust-up.
Informed of the coincidence, both Allen and Dooling could smile about that night. Dooling joked, "Well then we gotta make sure no one gets in a scuffle with him; maybe he’ll get more shots."
Even if he doesn't, Rivers is perfectly fine with Allen drawing constant attention on the floor.
"Allen on the floor means somebody’s open," said Rivers. "I always kid with Reggie Miller and say, 'Hey, we could use you on the last play of the game, today.’ Because it guarantees someone is going to stand next to him, and that’s what Ray does. Ray sets picks for us right now and no one can get off his body, or he stands in the corner, and someone’s going to stand next to him, which allows us to drive to his side. And that’s what we did a lot (in Game 3) -- drove to Ray’s side."
Allen takes the constant attention -- and the low shot output -- as a sign of respect.
"I think about what I’ve been able to do in this league, over the course of my career, being able to be regarded as one of the greatest shooters of all time. Now it’s at the point where it hurts me," he said. "Nobody wants me to take a shot. I appreciate that respect from opposing players and opposing coaches, or fans, when I get open, they always wonder how I get open. To be able to use that in the game, in a playoff situation, is a huge weapon.
"I’m always ready to take the shot and make the shot. But I know being out there on the floor, it does change the complexity of how the other team plays defense. It helps with cutting, with pick-and-roll coverages -- it helps a lot. You have to do what you have to do to help this team win. It can be frustrating because you want to get in and get the ball. The ultimate objective here is for us to win games, and that, to me, I have to help the team win."