If there is one thing Rashard Lewis has learned about Ray Allen , it’s that he doesn’t stay cold for long.
‘Man, that’s the thing. Ray may struggle but he’s always going to get back on his game the very next night,’ Lewis told WEEI.com prior to Game 5. ‘Hopefully that’s not the situation tonight, but Ray’s a true professional. You can’t count him out. You never can count him out.’
Lewis would know. The two played nearly five years together on the Seattle SuperSonics . During that period Allen led the league twice in three-point shots made. He also ranked as one of the league’s top ten scorers in four consecutive seasons.
‘I don’t care if he has a bad first half,’ said Lewis. ‘He can go and get 20, 30 points in the second half alone, or he can have one big quarter and score 15, 20 points. That’s just the type of player he is, so you’ve just always got to pay attention to him regardless of if he’s missed his shots.’
Allen has missed his shots against the Magic. He is shooting 34% from the field in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, down from 45% in the previous round. More staggering, Allen has made only three of 24 attempts from long range.
Lewis doesn’t pay attention to the box scores. He knows Allen’s 0-for-5 three-point performance in Game 4 has no bearing on Tuesday night.
‘I know he had a bad game last game. The thing that scares me about that is that we lost the last game by a buzzer beater and Ray didn’t play well,’ Lewis said. ‘Tonight is going to be a night where both teams need to win and I’m sure he’s mentally ready to play and he’s going to come out shooting the ball, I think, well tonight because of the fact that this team needs him to win the ball club and he’s the key to their winning, so I’m sure he’s going to be ready to play.’
Whether or not Lewis is right will be determined in Game 5. Maybe once the series is over, Lewis can share his prediction with his friend.
‘We speak to each other before and after the game, but it’s kind of hard to talk to each other when you keep competing against each other,’ Lewis said. ‘I’m sure after this series is over that we’ll get back to being the good friends that we are.’