Doc Rivers wants Ray Allen back in the green this summer. But after the Celtics shopped the soon-to-be 35 year old this year, there are going to be questions about where he’ll wind up. Saturday, the New York Daily News filed their answer to that question to a certain degree. Reports on the paper’s website Saturday indicated that Allen is “not exactly thrilled” with how Rajon Rondo has taken over the Celtics’ offense and is considering joining Dwyane Wade and/or Chris Bosh in Miami as a free agent.
We can slice this sucker up a few different ways, but let’s take it piece by piece.
It’s extremely unlikely Allen is unhappy with Rajon Rondo’s development. Of all the Celtics, it’s been Allen that’s been most supportive of sharing the ball and of Rondo’s development. Allen has arguably benefited the most from a drive and kick point guard succeeding at a high level, which has taken the pressure off of Allen’s fading dribble-drive penetration game. Allen’s an elite shooter and Rondo has given Allen the opportunity to be the best he can be at that game. Allen has also never expressed the kind of alpha dog mentality hinted at in the Daily News article.
But how about the prospect of joining Bosh and Wade? That’s got to be exciting, right? Except that it essentially makes Allen a bench player, and while he’s not an alpha dog, he’s not exactly submissive, either. Allen knows he can still contribute as a starter as long as his legs get high enough for that jumpshot to release. You could argue that the Heat could move Wade to point, but if you’ve consistently watched the Heat you know that’s a bad plan. The offense runs funky like Windows Vista, and Wade gets worn down having to fend off the point guard pressure at half court and has a hard time getting it back to execute the play.
Finally, Allen, along with Kevin Garnett, has really embraced Boston. He’s made his home in the area, has committed to the community, and has made it clear that he loves the city. Abandoning that, even for sweet retiring spot Miami just doesn’t seem to be in Allen’s make up.
Stranger things have happened though, and if Wade convinces Bosh to join him, every player in the league will be clamoring to join that club. We’ll keep you posted.
There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.
The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.
Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via CSNBayArea.com.
– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”
Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.
If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.
They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.
All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.