PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers tries to spin around Avery Bradley #0 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 18, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Doc says he doesn't think Bradley will play but isn't ruling him out completely.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 23, 2012
Avery Bradley: "I don't think I'll be able to play tonight."— Gary Dzen (@GlobeGaryDzen) May 23, 2012
Ray Allen says he rolled his ankle in Game 5 but he says he's OK to play tonight. Is going through shoot around now.— Gary Dzen (@GlobeGaryDzen) May 23, 2012
Avery Bradley traveled with the team to Philadelphia so there was at least a Ray of hope that he'd play (terrible pun intended). The more pressing concern is Ray after tweaking his ankle on Monday. He returned in Game 5, but the mornings after seem to be the toughest tests for #20. For what it's worth, Ray's presence on the floor had the Celtics shooting its highest percentage in Game 5 at 52.2%. The downside? Philly shot its best at 46.8%.
The key in the series has been free throw attempts. In the last three wins, winning teams have averaged 32.3 free throws with the losing team only taking 19. Ray on the floor has opened up driving lanes for Pierce and pick-and-roll space for Rondo and Bass. For what it's worth, Avery's injury forces Doc's hand and doesn't allow him to second guess playing time between Avery and Ray. In a series mired in offensive slumps, having the greatest all-time three-point shooter out there isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Celtics defense is predicated on help anyway so in that respect, having Ray as a threat on the offensive side of the ball has paid off so far.
And if this is truly the last time we see The Big Three play together, there's something romantic about having them all on the court at the same time. I wonder if the Thunder would loan out Perk tonight for old times' sake.