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Ray Allen Left Celtics Due to Doc Rivers, Could Face Similar Exit in Miami

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 07:  (L-R) Ray Allen #20 and Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics look on dejected against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 7, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Joye PruittSenior Analyst IAugust 1, 2012

In the latest saga, building up to Ray Allen’s emotional return to TD Garden at the start of the season, Doc Rivers has taken blame for Allen’s exit, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Shocker!

It was a lapse in offensive involvement that led to Allen’s departure to the Miami Heat, and we, as fans, knew nothing of the sort. Of course that’s ultimately the reason why Allen is LeBron James’ teammate instead of Paul Pierce’s for the upcoming season.

The blame should have never be square on Rajon Rondo’s shoulders, as he was only carrying out orders set forth by a future Hall of Fame coach, although Rivers acknowledges the rift was present. The good of the team was placed before Allen, and that has been the Rivers philosophy that has led the Boston Celtics to such Eastern Conference dominance.

What does that say about Erik Spoelstra and his willingness to keep Allen involved in Miami’s offensive scheme?

Take a second to evaluate the unsaid.

If Allen left the Celtics because Rivers did not keep him fervently integrated as a starter, even if it was for the franchise’s betterment, is he confident that Coach Spoelstra will never swipe him out of the starting lineup? Is he secure in thinking that Spoelstra will compliment his ego regardless of injury or slump?

If he is, he shouldn’t be. Coach Spo’ has proven that no one is above reproach in the organization, not even a superstar like Dwyane Wade.

During Miami’s second-round series in the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Indiana Pacers, Wade faced one of the worst descents of his career. In a game where Wade ended with only five points after 37 brutal minutes of futility, Spoelstra approached the star to remind him of how much he actually sucked that game.

He and Wade had to be separated by both Juwan Howard and Udonis Haslem, but the tension was apparent even as they went in opposite directions. Was it risky? Of course it was.

Whenever a player acclimated to praise is scolded for how badly he’s playing, there is a risk of said player harboring a grudge. Luckily, Wade is not that type of guy. The next game showed a revised and prepared player doing anything to help put his franchise in a better light.

It was as if the argument had never happened, and winning sure sedates most quarrels. What would happen if Allen were benched for being a liability to the team instead of an attribute?

Would Miami be saying goodbye to their veteran wing man at the end of the 2012-13 season?

Ray Allen is a professional first, but his anger about falling in importance because he fell in performance is not a great sign for his time in Miami. Coach Spoelstra and the Heat are team guys.

LeBron, Wade and Bosh all took pay cuts to keep their most formidable hustler on the roster—Haslem. Wade and James both understood that both could no longer be No. 1. One would have to conform to the winning style and realize that there would be a Batman and a Robin.

By taking less money than he would have had in Boston, Allen showed the trait of being a team player.

Still, if losing his starting job, righteously, with the Celtics is what drove him into the arms of the South Beach crowd in the first place, Allen may be in for a rude awakening. 

Then again, maybe if Boston had won a championship while he was benched, his ego would have been appeased. 

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