Ray Allen continues his torrid shooting
|01.03.12 at 2:45 am ET|
Less than two minutes into Monday night’s game against the Wizards, Ray Allen stepped to the free throw line after Washington’s head coach Flip Saunders was ejected for arguing with referees.
Allen, a career 89 percent free throw shooter, drew iron on one of his attempts. Four minutes later, Allen became visibly frustrated when he missed another free throw, following a technical foul on Wizards guard John Wall.
But, when Boston needed it most, they turned to Allen, who scored a game high 27 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 100-92 win.
Allen – who said he had a head cold – was particularly effective from long range, hitting six of his seven 3-point attempts. Allen has been always dependable scorer. However, fans have grown accustomed to witnessing extraordinary shooting clinics like the one Allen put on Monday night. Including the playoffs, Monday night marked the 13th time Allen has hit six or more three pointers since becoming a Celtic.
Many of his open looks came in transition, something Allen attributes to his teammates. “My guys got me open tonight,” Allen said. “If you look at any shots down the stretch - Kevin [Garnett] made a tough pass, [Rajon] Rondo made a tough pass, and Paul [Pierce] made a tough pass.”
The deadly shooter is justified in giving credit to his teammates, but executing is on the go is something Allen prepares for. “[Transition shots] are not a surprise to me,” Allen said. “In practice after spot shooting, I go do sprints from half court to the corners. So fatigue never sets in, because I’m used to it.”
That’s no accident.
“Marathon man,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “He was great. He just kept going. I would never want to guard that guy. He just never stops moving.”
Allen’s preparation and diet has become folklore in the Celtics locker room. Seemingly every teammate learns from Allen’s approach.
“I’ve never seen anybody take care of his game like Ray does,” said Keyon Dooling. “Ray takes care of his game, his body, his mind, and they are all interconnected. The way he talks about basketball is something I’ve never really seen before. I always try to pick his brain.”
Last season, Allen shot a career-high 44.4 percent from 3-point territory. In six games this season the 36 year-old is shooting an incredible 61 percent from behind the arc.
Invariably, all Allen will think about are the two misses from the first quarter. “It drives me wild,” he said. “But if everything was perfect, what would I work on?”