Friday, October 5, 2012

Alumni Profile: Ray Allen

Looking Back:  He was having another Ray Allen type season, hitting the long ball, playing solid defense, and doing the little things for the Celtics, but then he got injured.  The condensed scheduling put a lot of wear and tear on the older players bodies, and like so many of the veteran players, Allen was fighting through a painful injury, bone spurs.  While he rehabbed, Avery Bradley came in and played well.  Rivers had to make a decision when Allen was healthy again.  Who should he start, Allen or Bradley?  He stuck with Bradley and though Allen put on a good face, he felt slighted.  The Celtics made a great run through the playoffs and fell to the Heat in seven games, but Allen didn’t play that well in the playoffs and in the off season, he parted ways with the franchise that gave him his first championship and decided to play for the Celtics main rival the Miami Heat.

The Good: Even at his age, Ray Allen is still one of the premiere perimeter shooters in the game.  He has a quick release, plays screens as well as anyone, and is a lock at the line.  His work ethic is incredible and no matter what fans feel about his signing with the Heat, his handling of himself during the signing did nothing to diminish his moral character.  He is still one of the best ambassadors for UConn and goes out of his way to give back to his community.

The Bad: This is going to be his last run in the NBA and that was one of the reasons why he chose Miami.  He’ll have a great opportunity in each of his final three years to get another championship.  His age is a big concern though and he is coming off an injury which affected his game, especially at the line late in the season. Those are major question marks that remain to be answered.

Looking Ahead:  If Ray can remain healthy and accept a more limited role, he will have another Ray Allen like season.  He won’t be asked to average the 15 points a game that he was asked to in Boston.  They just need him to knock down some open threes and to have defenses respect his range which will open driving lanes for LeBron and Wade.  He has the best chance as any other UConn Alumni to win another championship and cement his legacy as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

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