Last Year's Stats: 36.4 mpg, 18.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.9 spg, fg% 48 (40.9% 3pt), FT% 95.2
John: 32.1 mpg, 17.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.8 spg, fg% 49 (41.5% 3pt), FT% 95
Chuck: 34 mpg, 18.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.0 spg, fg% 49 (41.1% 3 FG), FT% 95.3
What will help him the most?
John: A stronger bench. Ray won't need to be log young-guy minutes anymore. He's 54th All-Time in minutes played,
so at some point, he'll need the minutes dialed back. That point is
now, and Ray will respond by nearly matching most of his stats while
playing less. Then, when the playoffs roll around, he'll have more gas
to play the bigger minutes.
Chuck: His contract status. Ray is an unrestricted free agent at
the end of next season, and it's been scientifically proven that guys
play better when cash is on the line. That's why I projected tiny
improvements in every statistical category.
What will hurt him the most?
John: Age. Ray could be a guy
who plays until he's 40, but even if he does, he won't be "Ray Allen"
the whole time. Look at Ray like a classic car. Sometimes, no matter
how well it's maintained, something is going to go wrong. Now… that
meticulous conditioning could mean the problems are minor, but they
will be problems nonetheless. Will this be the year we really start to
see those problems?
Chuck: Even though I don't think it will be a major factor, I have
to go with age. At some point, Father Time catches up to us all. But
like John stated above, Ray has been working his ass off this
off-season. I don't expect to see a major drop in his scoring/shooting
percentages but nagging injuries could force him to miss a few more
Will he be an All Star?
John: No, not this year. I think
he'll have good numbers and he'll be in the discussion of reserves…
but I think this year it goes to someone else unless a couple of guys
back out because of injuries.
Chuck: No. The Celtics have too many stars on this team, and Ray is not a guy to demand the ball and/or attention.
Burning Question: How much longer can Ray keep this up?
John: I think Ray can keep playing for another few years. The guy is a workout freak. And he's meticulous about every detail about his life. He'll keep
playing at a high level for a while. But over the next couple of
years, we'll probably start to see a little bit more of a decline.
Maybe a little more spotting up than we're used to. Maybe a couple
fewer drives to the hole. At some point, even Ray's body will say
"enough is enough."
Chuck: He's got a few more years as a starter, and then a few more as a quality reserve. If Reggie Miller can play until he's nearly 40, there's no reason to thank Ray Allen can't do the same.