Ray Allen has been struggling as of late (10.2 ppg in the last 5 games), but turned it on in the second half last night to score 35, a season high for him. He was obviously feeling good, but that's not all he was feeling (Herald):
Many scorers say they can "feel it’ when their shots are falling with consistency. For Celtics [team stats] guard Ray Allen, the sensation can become quite literal.
"I always tingle when I know a shot is possibly coming," Allen said. "I was talking to (teammate Brian) Scalabrine early in the year and I told him, ‘You have to always know when that shot is about to come.’ For some reason, it’s almost like the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck start to stand up because I know the shot is about to come."
Umm, I think there is therapy or medication for that, but hey, whatever works for you Ray, keep feelin' it. I'm sure it is a much better sensation than a pinched nerve or hurt ankle. Issues which have plagued Ray off and on for much of the year so far. But perhaps last night is a sign of things to come. (Globe):
"I still had shots I would like to see go down," he said. "I do feel like I'm turning the corner, though, being able to feel good out there on the floor after everything I've gone through early. Still being able to go out there and get those shots and run up and down the floor. For me, the biggest key is getting my conditioning, just being in the best possible shape I can be in."
I often thought about Allen durning December. The team was doing so well without Ray playing up to the level we've come to expect from him over the years. I remember thinking that if we are doing this well without his A game, wait and see how good we can be once he starts hitting on all cylinders.
On the other hand, it seems like the big 3 hardly ever dominate all at the same time. There just isn't enough time to get each one into that kind of flow. Most nights it is one or two of the stars stepping up when someone has a poor shooting night. The result is still good, because the struggling star (like Pierce last night) doesn't have to feel like he needs to keep taking bad shots and forcing the issue (like Pierce for the last 4 years before this one). They can just find the hot hand and keep feeding him or take some of the easy, open looks that result from teams keying on the hot hand.
It is a good problem to have 3 unselfish All Star level players. KG is the early favorite for MVP. Pierce has had an excellent start of the year too. Last night was one of the nights when Ray Allen got to step up and show how valuable he is to the team too. It was fun to watch.