Starting Avery Bradley ahead of Ray Allen once seemed outrageous, then it began to look like an intelligent decision, then Doc Rivers said it might happen, then Rivers squashed all chances of it happening, and now Rivers has said it might actually happen, with Ray Allen saying he’d be alright with the change. If you feel like you’ve just gone 12 rounds with a dizzy bat, find the nearest seat and be careful. (Boston Globe)
However, the Celtics have compiled a five-game winning streak while Allen recovers from an ankle injury, and coach Doc Rivers said the coaching staff has considered bringing Allen off the bench.
“We think about stuff like that all the time, no doubt,’’ Rivers said after Tuesday’s practice. “That, and other guys. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe it will be somebody else, we’ll see.’’ …
“Whatever we need to do as a team,’’ Allen said. “I think the effort that I’ve seen over the last week and a half, two weeks, is great. Whatever combinations we work out there, we’re all good enough, we’re all professional enough, to understand it. We know our plays. We’re at a point in the season where everybody knows who each other is. So, remembering plays and positions is second nature now for all of us.’’
The fact that Rivers is even considering whether to bench the NBA’s most prolific three-point shooter ever speaks volumes to Bradley’s improvement while simultaneously acknowledging that, yes, the ageless Ray Allen has started to show the affects of Father Time.
Allen has sacrificed so much since coming to Boston. He went from being a first option to being a third option. He accepted a smaller role in the offense. Often defended the opposing team’s best wing. Did it all without complaint, at least publicly. And now Rivers might ask him to come off the bench because a 21-year old who doesn’t actually contribute much offensively has helped spark the team’s 5-0 run. If Allen can accept that, too, God bless him. There aren’t many superstars who would even consider going silently to the bench and supporting whatever decision the coach makes.