Ray Allen is currently playing in his 15th NBA season and it seems as if he's like a fine wine. He just keeps getting better with age. Maybe we should start calling him CabernRay or ChardonnRay. Either way he's defying the logical pathway of shooting guards before him. Ray is re-writing the book on how to not only sustain a career as a two-guard but to excel. And in that book is lesson #1: Never Leave Ray Allen Wide Open.
Time and time again he's come up huge in the clutch. Last night against the Philadelphia 76ers he struck again. Watch the video below for how Ray got open, but first the breakdown:
- As Rajon Rondo brings the ball over half-court, he hands the ball off to Paul Pierce, which appears like another late game ISO-Pierce play.
- Rondo attempts a few weak screens, but Pierce simply takes it to the basket anyway, only to meet a triple-team of his own man (Andre Iguodala), Jrue Holiday (who helps off Rondo) and Thaddeus Young (who is guarding the paint).
- Pierce spins and passes out to Big Baby who opts to get out of the paint in fear of a 3-seconds call.
- Big Baby pivots and gets double-teamed by Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday
- Before we see the good decision that Big Baby makes, let's look back a second and watch Ray Allen: Ray almost acts as a decoy by making a soft run at a KG baseline screen, yet his man (Jodie Meeks) fights to stay with him. Then, for some inexplicable reason, when Big Baby gets the ball, he decides to leave Ray wide open to check Rondo (who is also open) at the top of the key.
- From here, Big Baby makes the heads-up decision by finding Ray instead of kicking it out to Rondo
- Ray drills the three, and stares down Meeks as if to say: "Serves you right for leaving me open." Maybe Meeks' ego got in the way and he wanted to prove something against his fellow Kentucky alumnus, but man you don't leave Ray… EVER.
The Sixers and their fans must have felt an eerie sense of Deja Vu, as Ray also did this back on February 9th, 2009: