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Who could this go to besides Ray? Well, I suppose a hat tip goes out to the regenerated Kevin Garnett and the increasingly consistent Rajon Rondo. Still, nobody took over games like Ray Allen last week.
He broke out of his shooting slump in a big way and logged big minutes (filling in for the traded Eddie House). So what happened? How did he find his 2008 shooting stroke all of a sudden?
Like most people, I have to think that the passing of the trade deadline was like a weight lifted off his shoulders. Shooters shoot best when they can block out all thought and focus purely on instinct and muscle memory. Anytime you have distractions of any kind it could effect your shot. Half an inch one way or another is the difference between 3 points and a long rebound leading to a fast break for the other team.
I'm of the opinion that he's going to be a streaky player for the rest of his career. Injuries and age will eventually catch up with him, but he'll adapt and adjust because he's such a talented shooter. I think his numbers won't drop off too much because they will average out to somewhere near his career averages, but I tend to think he'll be increasingly hot and cold. So maybe you can't count on him to be a 20 points a night kind of guy anymore, but some days he'll almost single-handedly win you a game - or at least be the difference between winning and losing.
And that's what he was this last week. He was the difference maker and that's why he's the T-Mobile Player of the Week.