We’ve all seen Ray Allen’s quest to get open, so many times. The quest takes no longer than it takes me to write this sentence, but Allen packs so much action into so little time.
First, Allen sprints around a screen. A defender, who knows exactly what will happen should Allen catch the basketball with any daylight, chases Allen like a small, annoying dog yipping at his feet. The initial screen doesn’t offer Allen any separation, so his sprint continues and he begins his way to the next screen. At some point, whether it’s two or three screens later, Allen finally receives a millisecond of space from his defender. That’s all he needs.
He catches the ball with his legs bent, shot ready. He pivots instantly on his inside foot, turning his body toward the basket. Before his defender can catch up, Allen’s shot motion completes. His upper and lower body work in perfect unison, and the defender can only turn helplessly as Allen’s latest laser beam snaps through the nets. The Celtics are three points richer, and Allen has once again proved that even the most-chased three-point shooter in basketball can free himself with enough hard work.
Paul Flannery wrote a terrific piece about Allen’s thought process during those precious seconds when he comes off screens. Read the piece, educate yourself, and enjoy it. It’s not every day we are afforded such an open look into a genius’ mind. And when it comes to shooting, Ray Allen’s Einstein-ian.