When we last saw Ray Allen in the NBA, he was playing a vital role as a knock down shooter off the bench for LeBron James and the Heatles. We’ve seen his huge shot that saved the Finals for the Miami Heat, and before Steph Curry went on a rampage, he was the owner of the most three-pointers made in a season.
So, since he hasn’t officially retired, this begged the question, why hasn’t any of the playoff teams given him a call? Any team, except maybe the Warriors, could use his three-point services in a very big way. However, let’s just look at the two teams who could use him the most that still have a chance to get to the Finals.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder were the most obvious answer when I first thought of this situation. After Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, there hasn’t been many consistent scorers from the outside for this team. Westbrook only shot 29.6% from three himself. Guys like Dion Waiters, Kyle Singler, and Andre Roberson are not helping stretch the floor so Westbrook can drive to the rim without the whole defense in the paint. The top two three-point shooters on the team, who played more than 30 games, are Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin. The problem there is obviously that Augustin isn’t even on the team anymore. So, overall this team ranked 17th in the league for three-point percentage.
Enter Ray Allen, and the paint is all of a sudden a little more clear for a Westbrook take-off. All of a sudden, there’s one less loose defender to come trap Kevin Durant, and even if that defender still gambles, then you have one of the best shooters of all-time open for a three. Instead of having to hope and pray a guy like Roberson can finally hit a few threes, Allen gives KD and Westbrook some confidence that they can kick the ball out and get some points out of it.
Get on that phone Danny Ainge and bring Ray Allen back to Beantown! That’s right, the two should have had a reunion for the postseason. Boston’s best three-point shooters in terms of percentage are both big men. I’ve been saying for a long time on The Atlantic Files that Isaiah Thomas is the only consistent offensive threat on this Celtics team. The Celtics were 28th in the league this season for three-point percentage. They shot the three worse than teams like Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Phoenix who were all on the bottom of the standings.
So, say they sign Ray Allen back to the team, and now Thomas has a serious outside threat on the court with him. This opens up more options when Thomas drives to the rim, and it gives some more space for other players on the offensive end. Just like the situation in Oklahoma City, some of these guys on the Celtics could benefit a lot with a little more space. Someone like Evan Turner could use some more space to operate in the lane, and he can also distribute the ball to the shooters. Throw in a lineup with Thomas, Allen, Jerebko, and Olynyk, and that could be a seriously difficult lineup to defend with the firepower that they all bring as a unit.
Who do you think should have called Ray Allen for a postseason run? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @BballSociety_