Ray Allen joined his mother, Flo, for the final two miles of the Boston Marathon yesterday. Allen, who prides himself in staying in the best possible shape he can be in, was sitting at his locker tonight with the book, "Once a Runner" by John L. Parker by his side. The book, regarded by many as one of the best books on running ever published, illustrates how much work goes into being a truly great runner. Much like some of the best runners in the world, Allen has spent the majority of his life training to be the best at his sport, basketball. Asked whether he would someday run the Boston Marathon, Allen smiled and said, "As soon as I retire."
"I shoot so many shots before a game and in warm-ups that once the game starts I'm ready," said Allen. "My body is ready, I have a great rhythm. I'm playing the game and you just try to pick and choose your moments, your spots- get to the hole, free throw- all that goes into play. If I can build a great rhythm, you know, take good shots early, you're not rushing, not taking contested shots. I hadn't taken a shot in the first quarter, so I was coming into the second quarter thinking, ‘I'm 100%,' so that's a confidence boost just the same."
Down 25-29 with 10:10 remaining in the second quarter, the Celtics went on a 21-0 run over the next 8:03, with Ray scoring eight in that span. Allen picked up right where he left off in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the third quarter alone on 6-8 shooting from the field including 5-6 from behind the arc. Thanks to Allen, the Celtics would go into the fourth quarter leading by a marathon, 85-59. Allen would finish the night with 25 points and five rebounds, shooting 7-9 from three-point territory.
Doc Rivers talked with his team before the start of the second quarter and told them that they needed to get Allen shots. A miscue on the last play of the half drawn up to get Allen open angered Rivers, but he said the team realized then that had the play not been messed up, Allen would have been wide open.
"(Allen) really opened up the game," said Paul Pierce. "At one point it was so great, with me on the court being a spectator, just watching Ray knock down shots, watching Glen roll to the basket, getting and-ones. We were making extra passes off the down screens, one guy to another they were rotating."
The Celtics caught on to Miami's defensive rotations, and were able to adjust to their defensive schemes and get Allen open for shots. It was that extra pass that got guys like Davis and Ray open.
"If I had to pick which one they were going to get to," Pierce continued, "once they started rotating Glen, Ray was open and we started running screens for him and we just kept getting him open and we scored."
Anyone who has followed Ray Allen's career knows the kind of style of basketball he plays. Weaving through screens and around picks every game, he doesn't stop running. Perhaps Ray is more of a runner than even he knows. One thing is for sure, when he retires someday and runs the Boston Marathon, he should sit down after and write his own novel- "Once a Shooter".