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Ray will start if he plays

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 3, 2012 Uncategorized 13 Comments on Ray will start if he plays

I guess that settles that, huh?  I guess we'll have to see who's right in this.  

I like the idea that was left in our morning dump comments:  Slowly bring Ray back and work him in as a 6th man.  If the team keeps on rolling, then you stay with it.  If the team struggles, then you make the switch very easily and you can play it all off as "letting Ray get his legs back under him."  

What I'm afraid of is the offense changing too much to focus on getting Ray shots, Bradley not getting the same kind of passes he's been getting to finish in the half-court sets, and the C's overall team defense suffering at the start of games. 

Now the Celtics are in a position where if they put Ray back into the starting line up and the team struggles, you've created a distraction as the media harps on the "should Avery be starting" thing.  Then if the team makes the move to start Bradley, Ray gets the "oh, you've been benched now" questions. 

I like this opportunity to at least pretend that they're slowly working Ray back.  You can blow off the media questions more easily by saying Ray needs to get back into some game shape… and if it works you just say "we had planned to put Ray back in as a starter, but this is working for now so we're going to ride it out."  

The Celtics are well equipped to handle distractions, but I'd still like to avoid them.  Of course, Ray could come out and play great, and then I'd look like an idiot and we can all proceed as normal.  I suppose we'll see tomorrow night.  

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  • Cam

    You never lose your starting job cause of injury. Only happens in fantasy land

  • Grandad434

    definitely needs to come off the bench. The next several games are way too important for Jesus to get re-injured starting. AB is doing an amazing job and getting better with each game. What a shame.

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  • Jason

    He wouldn’t be losing because he was injured. He’d be losing it because Bradley has outperformed him, even offensively. I love Ray and he’s still a viable NBA player, but right now he’s a drag. He has only two positives right now (good percentages and floor spacing) and they just don’t outweigh his negatives (team offense stagnates, can’t actually get many shots off to take advantage of his shooting ability so what’s the point, not exactly helping on the defensive end). Bradley’s positives though have now grown to outweighed his negatives. We all love Ray, but the tables have turned.
    Incidentally, I firmly believe part (or even most) of Ray’s loss of value is not entirely his fault. Before it was KG and Perk setting killer screens. Screens have been weak this year and so Ray’s production has suffered. Sounds harsh for Ray to lose his minutes because of it, but so what? His value was probably inflated (and career extended) the last 3 years because of great screeners, so it evens out. Point is, it’s not just Bradley vs Ray, it’s Bradley+4 vs Ray+4 and as currently constructed, Bradley fits much, much better.
    Obviously Ray has pride, but seriously why would you want to run around and around not getting open, then have to go to the other end and deal with Wade/Kobe et al? Forget that, the kid is doing great. Let him stay out and expend all that energy. Then go and dominate the backup 2s of the league. And of course nail the end of game daggers, too.
    Ray off the bench is just far too sensible on so many levels. It really pisses me off that it won’t happen. And the thing is, it’s coming from Doc, not Ray. C’mon Doc, do the right thing. Pride and loyalty are nice, but this is not best for the team. Don’t cost the team wins because of some misguided sense of loyalty.

  • djisinthehall

    @ Jason
    Well said.

  • Danno

    Or on the New England Patriots.

  • paul

    Bradley and Rondo have turned into an amazingly dynamic back court. It’s foolishness to break that up. Doc is making more trouble for himself this way.

  • wil

    Its not that Bradley is better at Ray at the starting position.
    Its just that the Bench needs Ray, Leader and scoring wise.
    when it matters you can still expect Ray to get the last shot.
    I hope they try Ray as the sixth man,

  • aaron

    just for this game, bradley to put it down on ginobli, plenty of minutes to be had there

  • Sorry Ray, youth must be served….Bradley is now the better player.
    AB`s defense and young legs bring more to the table than what Ray can offer.
    KG is the biggest single reason for the team`s recent surge. For the first time since his knee injury in 2009, KG is playing “young” again.

  • Nathan

    i’d rather see bradley start but regardless i have a feeling rays gunna come out lights out on both ends of the floor to prove a point that a HOF’r should start over someone who spent half last year in the d league

  • chachee

    There’s a LOT of Avery Bradley love in Beantown, and rightfully so. So much love, that it might be hard to really see exactly how different the C’s play with him in the lineup. These are just stats that i took from the regular standings. Nothing crazy. Nothing like Hollinger’s number crunching, either. Just simple stats, but very interesting:
    C’s since the break:
    15-5 since all-star break
    10-4 with Ray as starter
    5-1 with Bradley as starter
    of those 14 games that Ray played in, 7 of those teams were playoff bound.
    of those 6 games that Bradley started, 2 of those teams were playoff bound.
    of those 6 games that Bradley started, 3 of those teams have losing records, and houston is 1 game above .500.
    The C’s score more points when Ray is on the floor, they also give up more. The point differential is only 0.36 (avg) when Ray is starting and 9.67 when Bradley is starting. Keep in mind, the C’s lost two games on the road trip by a combined 57 points (32 to Philly and 25 to the Kings). That’s not Ray Allen’s fault. These teams are much more athletic, even for Avery Bradley.
    Avery seems like the no brainer pick, because he seems to gel with Rondo. I just feel that the media loves to throw all these stats without giving too many details. The combined winning percentage of the teams that Bradley has played against is only .436. With the exception of Miami and Philly (in which the C’s lost), the level of talent that Bradley has faced is too mediocre to automatically assume that he is the better starter over Ray.
    I guess it doesn’t matter when you start, it matters when you finish. As long as Ray is on the court in the 4th Q, i have no problem you starts.

  • very good