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Ray Allen is reportedly expected to sign with Heat, and that’s bad news for the NBA

The Heat are currently on the top of the NBA universe, but the frightening thing for the rest of the NBA is that they could be getting significantly better over the offseason. According to a number of reports, Ray Allen is expected to sign with Miami at some point in the near future. In terms of places to close out his Hall of Fame career, Miami has to be the best possible scenario for arguably the best three-point shooter in NBA history.

If the Heat had one glaring problem on offense this season, it was a lack of consistent shooting from the outside. Shane Battier is their most reliable shooter. Mike Miller filled that role off the bench in spurts — particularly in the clinching game of the NBA Finals — but back injuries plagued him throughout the season and prevented him from being that guy all the time. Allen is also coming off ankle surgery, but you have to believe he’d be a more reliable option than Miller.

For the Heat, Allen would play the same role he played for the Celtics when they won the title in 2008. At age 36, it can only benefit Ray to be on a team with two slashers like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. There would simply be no way to efficiently guard LeBron and D-Wade while also keeping tabs on where Allen is on the perimeter. If teams thought the Heat were too much to handle this season, a healthy Allen on the court with Battier could create nightmares.

Photo credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo reportedly struggled to get along this season

When Danny Ainge assembled the Big Three back in 2007, it was assumed the Celtics were looking at a three-year window to win a championship. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce decided to get that out of the way immediately. After they beat the Lakers in 2008, every season after that was described as the “last shot” for the Big Three. Four years and another Finals appearance later, and the aging Celtics were able to push the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Championship. Is it now officially over?

From an age standpoint, it seems likely. Garnett and Allen are free agents. Both seem like they intend to play next year, but you never know what could transpire over the course of the offseason. In all likelihood Garnett will either retire or return to Boston for another season. It seems less likely that the Celtics will bring Allen back, especially since he reportedly struggled to get along with Rajon Rondo this season.

“I think there’s no question that the relationship (between Rondo and Allen) was strained over this year,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix said during an interview with WEEI Monday. “How strained is the key, and it’s still a little bit unclear. There was some friction between those two. I think that could play a role in Ray’s decision not to come back.

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Ray Allen reportedly feels slighted by Celtics, unsure if he’ll return to Boston

The Celtics are mounting a late-season surge up the standings, but are doing it with Ray Allen not having the best morale. Allen was almost dealt at the trade deadline to the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo, but with the deal falling through, Allen’s relationship with the Celtics’ front office has become damaged. With that and being demoted to the bench recently, a “slighted” Allen’s chances of returning to the Celtics next season are up in the air. From the Boston Globe:

Allen is savvy in never displaying his true emotions, always even keel with the media, very composed on and off the court. Yet, that does not mean he lacks emotion. It’s been a disappointing season for Allen, because privately, he feels somewhat slighted by an organization for which he developed a loyalty and trust – and his demeanor has changed over the past few weeks. …. Allen wants to finish this season with a championship, but the likelihood of his return next season has diminished.

“It’s hard to say,” Allen said on whether he wants to stay in Boston, according to the Boston Herald. “The landscape always changes over the summer. Just from what I see around the NBA, there’s a lot of teams that look forward to having me. I just want to be somewhere where I’m valued, cherished and I can go out and play.”

Allen added that getting a multi-year contract would help him make his decision. He wants more security than a one-year deal, which Boston is likely to offer, would provide.

“I don’t want to go into this season, like I have in past seasons, worrying about whether I was going to be traded or not,” Allen said. “At this point we want to ride it out, take this thing to the house, and not have the instability of not knowing whether today or tomorrow something is going to happen.”

Bad news for Allen: He’s turning 37 in July. All he’s probably going to be offered this summer are one-year deals. Missing most of the last month with a sore right ankle also tells teams he’s starting to ware. Even if he leaves the C’s, he probably won’t be treated much differently elsewhere. Maybe if Isiah Thomas came back to the Knicks, he’d at least get the contract he’s looking for.

H/T I am a GM
Photo credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Ray Allen says wearing bigger sneakers has helped extend his career

When the Celtics assembled the Big Three back in 2007, the health of Ray Allen was a major concern. Allen was coming off double ankle surgery and was the oldest of the new trio. Since his game relies on making cuts and coming off screens, critics wondered if the move would pan out for the C’s. It did, and now you could argue that he looks fresher and younger than Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, with K.G. looking hobbled ever since hurting his knee and Pierce showing a little less burst than he used to.

At age 36, Allen says his recent success can be attributed to a shoe switch back in 2010.

“My feet were always hurting,” he told CSNNE.com on Sunday. “I was at shootaround in Detroit two years ago, I was running through it, and when I got back to the bus, it was just like the shoes, my orthotics – I called over to Nike and said, ‘The next shoe allotment, send it to me in 15s.’ I’ve been a 15 ever since.

“Down in my ankles, I need that blood to flow. Sometimes if the shoe’s too tight, you just feel pressure on your feet. It just doesn’t restrict my feet as much. My feet can breathe.”

When he entered the league in 1996, Allen was wearing a size 13. He has since jumped up two sizes and has become the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made. In this his 16th season, Allen is shooting a career-best 45.9 percent from beyond the arc. If Ray Ray decides to move up to a size 16 in the next couple of years, he just might make it into his mid-40s.

H/T Ball Don’t Lie

Ray Allen Says Wizards’ Jan Vesely Doesn’t Know How to Play Basketball

Grumpy old man Ray Allen: take two. The Celtics are struggling. Their superstars are aging. They have won only seven games so far this season, and three of them have come against one of the worst teams in the NBA. No matter how much the team struggles, Allen has always been a veteran leader and rarely has anything negative to say. This season, he has flashed signs of frustration a couple of times.

On Sunday night during their third win of the season over the Wizards, Allen stepped on Washington forward Jan Vesely’s foot while attempting to come around a screen. It caused him to fall to the floor, and Allen was not happy about the play after the game.

“It was the way (Vesely) was setting screens,” Allen said according to the Washington Post. “He was stepping out and extending and every time I tried go around it, his foot was in the way so it just seemed like a train wreck waiting to happen,” Allen said. “That’s always a lesson for me when I try to play basketball with guys during the offseason that don’t know how to play and don’t know how to use their bodies. Be careful. A young player like that, I have to be aware when I’m out there on the floor.”

A bit condescending, no?  This is the same Allen who accused David West of having too big of an ego to sign with the Celtics before the season began.  West instead chose the Pacers, who are currently 11-4 on the year.  Boston, on the other hand, is 7-9 with rumors swirling that their G.M. is getting close to having a fire sale.  The 36-year old Allen is coming to the end of his career and it sounds like he’s running out of patience.  I can’t say I blame him.

Chest bump to I Am a GM for passing the quote along

Ray Allen Says David West’s Ego Made Him Choose the Pacers Over Celtics

Apparently the decision David West made to choose the Pacers over the Celtics really rubbed Ray Allen the wrong way.  For a while, it appeared that Danny Ainge had a deal in place that would send Jermaine O’Neal back to the Pacers for David West by way of a sign-and-trade.  The deal fell apart and West chose to sign with Indiana for two years, $20 million rather than the Celtics for three years, $29 million.  The normally soft-spoken Allen thinks West made a big mistake.

“I’m shocked,” Allen said according to ESPNBoston.com when asked about West signing with Indy.. “I don’t understand it. Once it got down to the end, I think his ego kicked back in. He wanted the dollars. I guess it comes down to ‘What is a championship worth to you?’ Think of all the guys who have made $20 million and could be considered one of the best ever, but they get chided because they never won. We [the Big Three] all had to do less when we won. We’re still taking less to make it work. But it’s worth it. No one can ever say to KG, Paul or me, ‘You guys never got your ring.’”

Allen said he was originally told that West was going to come to the Celtics for less money and that he and Allen would get along well, because they are both “cognitive” type players.  Now, he is almost certainly left frustrated by Boston’s lack of depth.

Obviously West’s decision really irritated Allen, because the comments he made were completely out of character.  Everyone has their own person reasons for choosing a new team, and it’s possible Allen is bitter since he knows time is running out for the Celtics.  Perhaps West knew that as well and had no interest in becoming part of a rebuilding project.

Ray Allen Dunked on Chris Bosh (Video)

For those of you wondering why Ray Allen was left open after taking the handoff from Garnett by the baseline, it’s because nobody on Miami thought he could dunk. Boy did he prove them wrong in the worst way. I never knew Ray Allen could get down like that, what a monster. As far as Miami goes this is just like us posting the video of Rafa Nadal’s between-the-legs shot Sunday. The losers can have the highlight, because winning the contest is all that matters.