Here we are again.
Ray Allen's ankle is a mess and the injury is permeating his entire game. He can't cut, he can barely shoot, he's routinely beaten off the dribble.
It's bad. Yet….
There he was, valiantly doing other things to help the team as best he could. He grabbed 5 rebounds (2 offensive) which is more than Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass combined. His 2 steals was one more than anyone else in the game. At -9, he was tied with KG and better than the other 3 starters.
So what happens to Ray?
With no Avery Bradley any more, there are really only a few options left.
- Keep going the way you're going.
- Start Mickael Pietrus
- Start Sasha Pavlovic
- Start Ray, but change his minute distribution
Option 1 isn't really working. Ray Allen gutted out 39 minutes on that bum ankle, which is admirable, but it's also crazy. He doesn't have 39 minutes in him and we all know that.
Option 2 is something Doc actually considered before Pietrus' concussion. That plan was re-adjusted for Avery Bradley, which worked out quite well, but Pietrus as a starter has crossed Doc's mind.
The problem is Pietrus is a little hobbled too. He's not 100% confident in driving to the basket consistently, and any weakness in your offensive game with Dwyane Wade around will get you destroyed. Never mind the whole "chasing Wade around" thing.
But what are we going to do… go to Option 3 and start Sasha Pavlovic? Look, I like Sasha. He seems like a nice guy and I'm sure he'll hit a shot or two, which Ray can't do right now, but I'm not in no hurry to match Sasha against Wade.
So that brings us to Option 4, which Doc hinted at in his post-game press conference.
If you start Ray and pull him 4 or 5 minutes in.. sit him for 2 or 3 minutes.. and then put him back in so the ankle doesn't stiffen up completely, then you MIGHT get Ray a better matchup as Wade hits the bench and Mike Miller comes in. Maybe Miller plays Ray a little too soft. Maybe Ray gets a little more space and a little more time… and maybe a couple of shots fall and he gets going.
Yes, there are a lot of maybes in there. This is, admittedly, some amount of straw-grasping. Maybe Sasha Pavlovic will get some time and make an impossible-to-predict impact. But the more likely scenario is Ray Allen will hit just enough shots to force Miami to respect him. That will be enough to open lanes for Rondo.. which in turn will open things up for everyone else.
Ray just needs to get SOMETHING going. Doc needs to figure out how to make that happen now… or else this thing will end very quickly.
UPDATE: Doc may rest Ray a game
It’s a tough call with him,” Rivers said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re trying to figure out a different minute rotation for him, maybe that will help him. We’re even considering sitting him for a game, getting him a longer rest and then playing him, and then sitting him for a game. We don’t know what the right thing is.”
That'd be another interesting approach. Guess it's all on the table.