Walter Ray Allen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, fifth overall in 1996; then the Wolves immediately swapped picks with the Milwaukee Bucks for Stephon Marbury. The Marbury-KG thing never worked out, but 13 years later, KG and Walter Ray came together for their first championship.
Even his name sounds as smooth as his jump shot. His sweet release tickles the twine like the melodious sounds of a well played violin. In the 2006-07, season he averaged a career best 26.4 PPG in addition 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
When the Boston Celtics traded for Ray Allen last year he was considered damaged goods. Allen was recovering from double ankle surgery, and many were worried if his shooting touch would be affected. It seems every city he went to the media wanted to talk about his so called slump.
Through it all, Ray stayed consistent with his routine and never complained, but it was evident it bothered him with the way he pressed when he shot the ball. He knew he was on a special team and he was intent on focusing on team goals instead of his individual stats.
In 2007-08, he averaged 17.4 points during the regular season; however, in 14 playoff games, he averaged 12.7 PPG. He averaged 9.3 points per game in the Cleveland series, one of which he failed to score in and managed only four points in Game Seven.
After the championship run, Allen admitted that he went against doctor’s orders that he should not play back-to-back games. And the fact that he was still in pain every time he shot the ball. Through it all, he kept with his normal pregame ritual of arriving three hours before game time to work on his shooting. Ray Allen shot 45 percent in 2007-08 and that was a bad year shooting for him.
This season, NBA’ers were polled on who they thought was the best pure shooter; as quoted from the Boston globe: Recently, 190 NBA players were asked to name the best pure shooter they've ever seen. Twenty-six percent voted for Allen.
Reggie Miller was second with 15 percent while Larry Bird and Jason Kapono tied for third with 10 percent each. Allen was unaware of the poll, which was published in the Jan. 26 issue of Sports Illustrated.”
His shooting slump is over for two reasons, one because his ankles are finally healthy, and Ray has learned how to feed off of Rondo. This is evident in his recent scoring outbursts.
He has averaged over 20 points in the last three games and the Celtics have won all of them. Allen is presently averaging 18.1 PPG, and less than three rebounds and assists. A far cry from his career averages, but he doesn’t have the ball in his hands as much.
Ray Allen’s shooting woes are far behind him and he is one of the few players in the league whom I consider a sniper when it comes to shooting the ball. Allen’s shooting enhances the other dimensions of his game and spreads the floor.
If Allen maintains his double-digit scoring, the Celts will be the top seed in the East and win banner No. 18.