Ray Allen has decided to drink the cool aid offered by Pat Riley and the Heat. Riley has done a good job of getting star players to come to Miami for less money with the promise of championships. He now has proof as the Heat took it all this year and they are poised to do the same next season. Of course, repeating is tough in the NBA but with Allen agreeing to go to Miami, they have gotten a whole lot closer.
Allen had a fine 2011-2012 season, hitting 46% from the floor and 45% from downtown. That 3-point stat was the best of his 16-year career. He was good 91% of the time from the foul line. All that was well and good. In the postseason, he averaged just 34.2 MPG and all of his percentages, shooting, 3-point and foul, were the lowest ever.
One other fact (and this is very important)—Allen only played 46 games this season due to injury. He’s got bone spurs and they really hurt his ability to play during the regular season and his postseason stamina and performance.
It is absolutely certain that losing Allen will hurt the Celtics. There is no one to take his place and Boston probably won’t be able to afford the talent. Boston has made some deals with forwards (Brandon Bass Jeff Green) and the front looks good. But they don’t have anyone who can match Allen’s sharpshooting skills from the backcourt.
Miami will be well armed with Allen. But his health and age are a concern. He will be 37 in a few weeks and his wheels are hurting. Can he play 82 regular season games next year? Probably not. In a way, losing Allen to the heat may help Boston and Doc Rivers reform the roster. There’s time to do that.
It Was Time
I think it was time for Allen to move on and for the Celtics to find a real solution the fact that he is no longer a starter. That’s the plain truth. Allen, who still has great skills, cannot start 82 games. On average, he’ll see diminished playing time and I expect he’ll miss a slew of games.
Still, it doesn’t feel right. A Celtic going to a division rival and a rival in which Pat Riley is a key figure? One thing is for certain; the series between the Heat/Celtics was going to be intense anyway (a new version of the 60s games between the Celtics and the 76ers and the 80s games between Boston and LA). The Ray Allen deal will add more Heat to the fire. Bring your marsh mellows to this one.