“The way it’s been, that first six or seven minutes I’m kind of floating a little bit, and that’s how I’ve been for the last few months,” said Allen. “The second unit gives me the ability to get more shots and have the ball in my hands a little more. It’s a weird dynamic. Doc has to figure how we’re going to be best. We have so many moving parts right now.
According to Rivers, this conversation took place before Avery Bradley suddenly morphed into a game-changing defensive killer with an effective offensive game. The idea was to move Mickael Pietrus into the starting lineup where his defensive versatility would allow them to switch more on the perimeter and form a potentially devastating combination with Rajon Rondo in the backcourt.
I'm not fond of the play on "bench warmer" in the Herald headline. I know they're doing it in the "the bench is warmer with Ray Allen there" kind of way… but it feeds a misconception about why Ray is there.
There are plenty of people who will argue (and have, with me, extensively) that Ray Allen deserves a starting spot, when this decision has nothing to do anyone "deserving" anything. Ray Allen is on the bench because his current skill set doesn't fit what this particular team is trying to do. Also, as you can see from Ray's quote, he's trying to make a contribution out there and he's not able to with the starting unit.
Ray is the ultimate professional for suggesting the move to the bench. It shows his ego can handle what some would call a demotion of sorts. But there is also an underlying selfishness (that's not exactly the right word, but I can't think of another one) to it in that he wants to get shots too, just like everyone else.
Ray sees himself "floating" for 6 or 7 minutes… so he thinks "hey, look, if I'm not fitting with this group, let's move me to the bench and see if I can fit with that one."
It's a mutually beneficial relationship (maybe that's the better term) that might help Ray find a better offensive flow while the starters get off to a better defensive start. Flannery has the key stat:
The lineup with Bradley and the other four starters is a staggering 24 points better than the opposition and holding teams to just 87 points per 100 possessions. The Allen lineup barely breaks even.
I like the starting lineup with Pietrus even better than I do the one with Bradley because of Pietrus' length, positional flexibility and better all around offensive game. But considering how well Bradley has meshed with this unit, I'd keep Pietrus on the bench too and have a nice pair of scorers on the second unit.
Regardless, Ray Allen's gesture shows that he's not totally driven by ego. It wasn't that long ago when Allen Iverson was bitching about starting even when his skills had diminished and now that attitude has cost him a spot in the league. I'm sure Iverson could still help someone in a bench role, but he just was too big a problem for too many teams. Ray saw the writing on the wall, saw that he wasn't doing enough to help the team in his current role, and he said something about it and proposed a situation that would work for everyone.
That's a pro with the ability to see the whole picture. A team player if there ever was one.
Related links: CSNNE: Allen puts ego behind, team first in new bench role | ESPN Boston: Sacrifice for success |
On Page 2: Andrew Bynum in an F'ing idiot
Here's Bynum last night, flying off the handle… again. First… with this tech
And then this one
"I'm disappointed because we told him, 'You got one technical; don't pick up your second,' and he acknowledged us, and he went out and picked up his second when I thought he could have helped us win the ballgame," Lakers coach Mike Brown said.
Bynum did not speak to reporters after the game.
"He acknowledged us, and it happened anyway," Brown said. "When you have that, that is concerning. … Call it whatever you want to call it. It's not right."
This moron is going to cost the Lakers any shot at winning another title. If he does, I wouldn't be surprised if you see his lifeless body being tossed out of Kobe Bryant's SUV as it drives down the highway.
Bynum has been really acting up lately. I don't know if he's pissed about Mike Brown or if he's just off in his own little world making problems for no reason… but he's been a real problem for the Lakers. They lost a winnable game last night, and it's only going to get worse if he keeps pulling this crap.
The rest of the links: