Ever since roughly game 5 against the Pistons I have been happy with Ray Allen's contributions. He hit a huge shot in that game 5 down the stretch, came out of the gates on fire in the following game, carried it over to game 1 of the Finals where he grabbed 8 rebounds, played well in game 2, and did an admirable job against Kobe Bryant for stretches. And I dig the whole borderline OCD thing. Whatever it takes. However, over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a somewhat disturbing aspect of his game. Let me preface this by making an ill-fated Mario Tennis reference/analogy. Now I don't know much about tennis. In fact everything I know about the game - game, set, match, let, deuce, etc. - comes from Mario Tennis. I spent a lot of time during the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college playing it. Emphasis on a lot. And I was pretty good at the game. When I'd play I would routinely try to ace my opponents or beat them with returns down the line. Not exactly ground breaking stuff. However, I often said two things:
1. First rule of tennis: return the serve.
2. First rule of tennis: don't get beat down the line.
Now there can't be two first rules of tennis. Therein lies the joke. Back to basketball. From a young age I learned to never leave my feet unless I was going to shoot or make some other clearly thought out basketball play. It might not be the first rule of basketball, but it's pretty damn important. There are few moves worse than jumping without any plan in mind and then throwing an awful pass or taking an ill advised shot. Unfortunately Ray Allen has been falling into the "jump with no idea what he is doing trap" a lot lately. Please stop. Otherwise, keep up the good work.