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Since joining the Celtics, there is always a point in the season where fans and sports analysts question Ray Allen's worth and statistical numbers.
In 2008, questions (understandably) were raised during the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs. Allen struggled through some of the worst play of his NBA career during that stretch and the questions were swirling. Ray Allen put all questions to rest as he blazed his way back into normal form during the last two rounds of the playoffs leading to the NBA Finals.
However, during the finals, Ray was arguably the best player in green. Though Paul Pierce deserved the Finals MVP, Allen was a close second. He played through his newly born son's diabetes diagnosis, often spending post and pre games at the hospital with his wife and newborn.
Last season, after the Celtics were shocked by a game one loss (105-103) loss to the Bulls, Ray Allen was questioned for his disappearing act, notching only 4 points in 40 minutes. Again, the speculation over Allen's effectiveness was in full bloom.
How did Ray answer? He averaged 27 points per game in the last six games of the series, including a 51 point night in game four. Allen was the key player in this seven game masterpiece, forcing many games into overtime with his clutch shooting. Ray seemed unstoppable.
Already in this early season, Ray's play has again come into question. He has struggled from downtown, averaging only 31 percent. From a player that has never averaged under 42 percent from three-point land, this year's statistic is shocking.
However, despite his poor outside shooting, Ray is compiling one of his best overall shooting percentages (47 percent) of his career. He is also beating his career averages in free throw percentage (93 percent) and is tied for his career averages in steals and assists.
So, where is Ray Allen disappointing?
He has been accused of careless ball handling. I have seen such poor play during the Celtics recent stretch of struggles from the entire team. Maybe it's our high expectations for the pure shooting veteran that allows us to pinpoint Ray as THE player not playing well.
Ray also has been accused of playing poor perimeter defense. This was an area pointed out frequently by friends in the Celtics recent victory over Toronto. True, Ray was a step slow, but the Raptors tendency to constantly use back screens and double screens make it difficult for any player to stay with their man, let alone a guy at the age of...