It is almost fitting that Ray Allen once played a character named Jesus, because his jumper was dead and buried last night. Yet it miraculously came back to life at exactly the right time to save his teammates. Please forgive the borderline sacrilegious analogy, I'm still feeling a little giddy.
It was to the point last night where I really thought it might be a good idea to just let him sit the rest of the game out and take our chances with Pietrus or Dooling or even Marquis Daniels. But thankfully Doc and Ray's teammates had more faith in him than that.
"That one stretch where he passed up a shot, we took him out and said we’re not having that,’’ Rivers said of Allen. "And he said my foot’s killing me, I need a break. I said, ‘Ray you’re not going to pass up shots.’ Rondo told him the same thing, which I thought was great for Ray to hear, and then Kevin went over and told him.’’
I think even the most confident shooter in the world needs an occasional pep talk to get him believing again. But with Ray it doesn't seem like it took that much convincing.
"Well Ray is the ultimate gun slinger," Rivers said. "I mean, really. That’s what makes great players great. You know, I was a basketball player one day. And I would’ve never taken that shot late in the game like Ray, after missing my first 15. First of all, I wouldn’t have been in. But you know what I mean; a lot of guys – you’ve got to have a set to do that, you really do. It was just impressive."
All I can say is ...amen.
Now, are his troubles all behind him? Probably not. We're going to need Ray to be that gunslinger against the Heat and that's going to take either a miraculous recovery or some serious playing through bone-spur pain. But all we can do is wait and see and have a little more faith.