Print and Go Back ESPN.com: TrueHoop [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Ray Allen falls back to earth

By Kevin Arnovitz



Talk of Ray Allen's historic Game 2 shooting exhibition on Sunday night lingered into Tuesday. Allen's 8-for-11 line from beyond the arc set a record for most 3-pointers in a NBA Finals game. Although there's little evidence to support the theory of a hot hand, Allen has other assets that, in theory and practice, should've helped sustain his shooting proficiency in Game 3. He maintains a tireless strive for perfection, and has teammates who understand how to create open looks for him. A replication of his astounding Game 2 performance might have been improbable, but Allen and the Celtics clearly established an edge with Allen on Sunday night, one they figured to carry back to Boston.

All this makes his two-point, 0-for-13 Game 3 all that more confounding. What happened on Tuesday night?  Was it a defensive adjustment by the Lakers? Did the Celtics perform their support duties, like setting screens, with less precision? Was it a simple case of Allen missing the kinds of shots he drained with confidence in Game 2?

The answer: All of the above.