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Some interesting thoughts on Ray Allen by Roland Lazenby:

So it’s not a hard stretch to understand why those Boston fans have been so unflinchingly supportive of Ray Allen. Yes, it is pro basketball. Yes, there is talk radio and the Internet and all the atmosphere for fans to call Allen a tired old, overpaid dog in the midst of this playoff shooting slump.

But these fans know basketball. They know that Ray Allen has spent his career playing well, playing with class, honoring the game. They have given him a Larry-like respect. And they were rewarded in Game 2 of the Eastern finals with his rediscovered aggressiveness and a 25-point outburst (sadly, it wasn’t enough to prevent a Celtic loss).

Allen, for his part, feels that respect and says that’s why he absolutely loves playing in the Garden in front of that crowd.

Whatever happens in the Eastern Conference finals, there’s definitely the sense that they’re all in it together. The Celtics made that clear Saturday night by going to Detroit and producing a convincing victory.