Irish Coffee: Ray Allen ‘really isn’t Jesus’
|01.06.11 at 12:37 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Considering Ray Allen has shot 89.4 percent from the free-throw line in his career, he’ll miss two straight about once every 100 times he goes to the charity stripe.
And that’s exactly what happened with eight seconds left as the Celtics clung to a 105-103 lead against the Spurs — owners of the NBA‘s best record. Thankfully, for Allen and the C’s, Paul Pierce blocked Manu Ginobili‘s last-second 24-footer to preserve the victory.
“I would’ve put my whole salary that he made at least one,” said Glen “Big Baby” Davis. “I would’ve been in trouble. It’s Ray Allen. It just goes to show you he’s really not Jesus. You know? I swear to God … if he misses, I’m like, ‘That must be Ray Allen.’ When he makes it, every time I think it’s Jesus Shuttlesworth. I swear. I’m surprised when he misses.”
Obviously, the mention of Jesus was a reference to Allen’s character in the film “He Got Game”. But even Jesus Shuttlesworth couldn’t make 13-of-16 shots from the field, as Allen did Wednesday night.
“I was pretty confident in Ray going to the line, but he’s human,” added Rajon Rondo. “He did almost everything else perfect today, so you can fault him. The bottom line is we got the win.”
Allen is shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point range — both career highs for a single season. That’s saying something, considering Allen has been considered one of the league’s best shooters since entering the NBA in 1996.
“Ray needs to work on his shooting a bit,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich joked. “He only hit 13 out of 16. If it was practice and you did pindowns and you came off of that, I don’t know if anyone in the league would hit 13 out of 16. He does it in a game.”
Practice is precisely where Allen has developed his shot, and he won’t stop now. In fact, after missing the two consecutive clutch free throws, he pledged to shoot 100 foul shots in practice on Thursday.
“I’m going to shoot 100 free throws,” said Allen. “When I think about the first three throw, I don’t know how I missed it, and when I think about the second it’s the same exact way. That’s what’s perplexing to me. Everything is where it needs to be at all times. Sometimes you just miss and chalk it up to percentages. I told the guys now I need to make 16 in a row.”
The record for consecutive free throws is 97, set by Minnesota’s Michael Williams in 1993. That gives Jesus something to shoot for.
PUTTING RAJON RONDO’S NIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Rajon Rondo‘s 22 assists ranked third all-time against the Spurs — and first since San Antonio won the first of four NBA titles in 1999. Here are the top assisting performances against the Spurs in NBA history:
- Jan. 15, 1991: 28 (John Stockton)
- April 16, 1994: 25 (Kevin Johnson)
- Jan. 5, 2011: 22 (Rondo)
- Dec. 23, 1978: 22 (Kevin Porter)
The 22 assists ranked as the fourth-best single-game performance in Celtics history, behind Bob Cousy‘s 28 in 1959, Rondo’s 24 against the Knicks earlier this season and Nate Archibald‘s 23 in 1982. Rondo became the first player in team history to record at least 19 assists three times in the same season.
Rondo’s triple-double against the Spurs (22 assists, 12 points, 10 rebounds) marked the 11th of his career, which moved him one step closer to Antoine Walker (13) for second on the C’s all-time list. Of course, nobody’s about to catch Larry Bird, who had 69 triple-doubles in a Celtics uniform.
NATE ROBINSON, NO CONTEST
The NBA announced the competitors for the 2011 slam dunk contest, and Nate Robinson was not on the list, which included Blake Griffin, Brandon Jennings, Serge Ibaka and JaVale McGee.
Robinson is the two-time defending slam dunk contest champion. He’s won three overall (2006, ’09, ’10).
CELTICS vs. SPURS, REVISITED
In case you missed it, Paul Flannery and Mike Petraglia had us covered from all angles throughout Wednesday night’s showdown between the two best teams in the league. Here are the links, as well as a nugget from each piece:
The Three-Pointer: Rondo being Rondo, he pegged his health at “79 percent,” but there was no doubt that he felt it too. “I felt a lot better than I have the past couple of games,” he said. “I’m in a little better rhythm. I’m able to push off even more on the ankle.”
Pierce on Rondo: “He did it all, he rebounded, assisted, Doc’s kind of been on him about taking that shot there and he steps up when he needs to and knocks down those shots confidently.”
Davis on Doc Rivers: Asked to describe their relationship, Davis said it’s a very complicated, but effective one: “For sure father son, like step-son. He loves me. But it’s like I still love you, but I’m hard on you. It is what it is.”
Guaranteed contracts: The deadline for non-guaranteed NBA contracts to become guaranteed contracts is Jan. 10, but because of procedural matters, players would have had to have been waived today. The two Celtics in that position are Delonte West and Von Wafer, both of whom are on one-year minimum contracts.