The 76ers have their hands full with the Celtics Big Three, but they also realize that they can’t fall asleep on Ray Allen in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center.
Yes, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce combined for 74 points in Wednesday’s 107-91 win over the Sixers that gave the Celtics a 2-1 series lead in this best-of-seven matchup.
He had three points, hitting a three-pointer, his only shot from the field in more than 25 minutes.
Ray Allen, the NBA’s all-time leader with 2,718 three-point field goals, is now a decoy?
Not so fast. It’s just the Celtics will take what was given them.
Sixers coach Doug Collins knows that Allen remains a major threat. Even when he isn’t scoring Allen spreads the defense, because the Sixers can’t afford to leave him alone for an open jumper.
"Ray Allen is a threat to score 20 points anytime,” Collins said following today’s shootaround. “When he is on the floor you have to space him differently and what he does is take away some of your help because you have to shade him differently than somebody else.”
During the three games against the Sixers, Allen is averaging 10.7 points and shooting 4 for 13 from three-point range.
Despite attempting just one shot last game, don’t look for Allen to be forcing the issue tonight.
“I don’t have to change anything from last game to tonight,” Allen said today before the Celtics shootaround. “The way they guarded us as a team, the final score was the result we were all hoping for.”
That doesn’t mean that Allen won’t have an aggressive attitude if the presented with open shots.
“I am always ready to take the shot or make the shot but being on the floor changes the complexity of the way teams play defense and helps with cutting and pick-and-roll coverage,” Allen said. “You have to do what helps the team win.”
Besides, Pierce, KG and Rondo, Allen in the Sixers minds, remains a viable threat.
“I have always been a Ray Allen guy,” Collins said. “He is the ultimate pro.”