Ray Allen had made just 3-of-14 shots. He’d missed four straight and 10 of his last 11, and was clanging louder than a church bell on Sunday. So in this sublime Celtics [team stats] season (thus far), of course he was the one to hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Green a 96-95 victory over the Bobcats last night. “He made it when it counted, and that’s all that matters,” said Kevin Garnett. “Killer Ray, as we call him. Killer Ray.”
That is how the Herald describes Ray Allen's performance last night. To day that Ray has been mired in a shooting slump is putting it mildly. His jumper used to be automatic. It went up and you knew it was going in!
In his first 5 games, Ray was shooting 57.5% After Doc played him the entire 48 minutes in his 5th game, his shooting percentage has been dropping rapidly. Here are his shooting performances in his past 7 games: 7-17 6-18 4-14 5-15 7-18 5-15 4-15 Over these seven games he is shooting 33% and this has lowered his overall percentage to 42%. Ray is averaging 39.6 minutes per game. He played 41 minutes 27 seconds in last night's game. It is great to be winning, but are we doing it at the expense of the future if we wear Ray down to the point where he has no legs under his jumper?
In a testament to Ray, though, when the game was on the line and he needed to hit the shot, it was money in the bank. The finish in last night's game is a testament to the difference between veterans and youth. I think back to the last two seasons and how many games we lost at the last second where either the other team made the big play or we failed to make the big play for the win. Veterans just find a way to win. They had missed the shot that would have tied it just seconds before and the Bobcats came up with the big rebound. Young players would still have been kicking themselves for the failure but House tipped the inbound pass, Pierce came up with it and got it to Ray who never hesitated to put up that 3, in spite of the shooting slump. A younger player would have hesitated on the shot. Let's not forget KG, who was under the basket just in case we needed a rebound and put back.
Killer Ray hits the game winner for the second time this season. I am sure we will lose a few of these this season, but the point is, we will also win some, something I never believed last season. What a difference a year, and a few veterans, makes. I just hope Doc doesn't wear them out before the playoffs.