Ray Allen’s shooting woes continued Monday night, when he shot 1-for-7 from the field despite a few open looks, especially early in the contest. The world even tilted off its axis — I mean, Allen even missed four of his seven free throws as he continues to, in his words, fight a battle within himself.
I don’t know how Doc Rivers can play Allen 39 minutes one day and then say he might need to sit Allen for a game to rest his injured ankle the next, but that’s precisely what the Boston coach did on Tuesday. (ESPN Boston)
“It’s a tough call with him,” Rivers said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re trying to figure out a different minute rotation for him, maybe that will help him. We’re even considering sitting him for a game, getting him a longer rest and then playing him, and then sitting him for a game. We don’t know what the right thing is.”
The problem with sitting Allen is that Boston has no other viable option. Mickael Pietrus would figure to get most of the minutes, but his shot has been in hiding even longer than Allen’s. After re-watching every possession of last night’s game on Synergy, it was clear that the Heat were willing to provide plenty of help off the struggling Pietrus. Au contraire, even with Allen struggling to connect, he drew plenty of defensive attention.
Of Boston’s other options, Sasha Pavlovic clearly hasn’t earned Doc Rivers’ trust, Keyon Dooling is quite limited, even more so than an obviously-depleted Allen, and E’Twaun Moore is a rookie who hasn’t seen any significant postseason time, a huge no-no especially in Rivers’ book.
This is why losing Avery Bradley hurts Boston more than losing Chris Bosh impacts the Miami Heat. The Heat plug in Shane Battier and their spacing becomes even better, opening wider lanes for Lebron James and Dwyane Wade to rocket toward the basket. The Celtics plug in Allen or Pietrus, neither of whom can hit a shot or defend Wade half as well as Bradley.
Oh what to do, what to do.