So many people expect the lockout to stretch into the season that its hard to believe it won't happen. I guess the question is how far into the season will it go?
There's always a chance that someone will wake up, see how much money is at stake, and get a deal done before any significant time is lost. But if not, and the season gets cut back, Ray Allen says its up to the Big 3 to get the rookies up to speed so they can contribute during the season.
"You start so far behind the eight ball, because when we started we had back-to-back-to-backs — 50 games in such a [compacted] season — it was overwhelming for all of us," said Allen.
[...] "The responsibility is going to be definitely me, Paul [Pierce] and Kevin [Garnett] to make sure that everybody's somewhere where you're being touched, where you know that we're trying to institute what we want as far as a team is concerned and those guys know kind of what direction we want to head in," said Allen.
The end of the "championship window" is going to force Ray, Paul and KG to be teachers. They have no choice but to be open and available to these guys. Not like they wouldn't normally be anyway, but they have added incentive now because this is just about it for this team. Ray and KG are in the last years of their contracts and they're at the end of the line. If KG wants another ring, he'll grab JaJuan Johnson and pour every ounce of knowledge into his head. If Ray and Paul want another ring, they'll take E'Twaun Moore aside and show him every trick in the book on the perimeter.
It's a tough situation for the rookies… but it might also be a good one when it comes to learning the game. They'll never again find three players of this caliber so eager to teach them anything.