(Stop thinking about what happened with Shaq last season, Jay.)
(Just stop it. Ray Allen isn’t Shaq.)
For the umpteenth time, it seems, Doc Rivers noted that while he’s far from sure when (or whether) Ray Allen will return, he’s pretty sure No. 20 will be ready for the playoffs. (CLNS Radio)
Rivers said Allen is “probable” for the playoffs, but still isn’t sure the Celtics will have their sharpest shooter when the first round begins Sunday.
“It’s a concern, that’s all I can tell you. I don’t know much more than that,” Rivers said. “I think he’s probable — in football terms, isn’t that the term they use when there’s a chance more than 50 percent that he’ll play? So let’s put him at probable.”
Allen, like Pietrus, would have to deal with getting his conditioning back while on the fly. That leaves Rivers slightly concerned even if Allen comes back Sunday.
The Celtics coach said, “He’s hasn’t played in quite a while. To go from zero to 100 — which is what the playoffs are — is very difficult. But when you put Ray on the floor, you still have to guard him. Having him on the floor gives us something. It gives us spacing.”
I keep coming back to this: Without Allen, the bench’s two best scorers are Mickael Pietrus and, drumroll please, Sasha Pavlovic. At some point in the postseason, I assume, Boston will need a reserve to light fire during a key moment. Pietrus is capable. Pavlovic can do it once in a blue moon. Allen is far more capable and can get it done on a very much more consistent basis.