Posted by Sekou Smith
BOSTON — The cosmic swing from hero to goat, can’t-miss to miss-everything is an amazingly tragic thing to watch.
Celtics guard Ray Allen lived it Tuesday night at TD Garden. He went from the “Zone” to the Twilight Zone in roughly 48 hours.
Allen was the hero Sunday in Los Angeles, draining a NBA Finals-record eight 3-pointers, he was 7-for-7 from distance at one point, as the Celtics snatched home court advantage with a Game 2 win at Staples Center.
But Allen and the Celtics gave it right back in Game 3, losing a 91-84 slugfest in which Allen didn’t make a single shot (he was 0-for-13) from the floor, coming up one miss shy of tying the Finals record for most shots without a make. Allen had 32 points and was 8-for-11 from beyond the 3-point line in Game 2. Allen was a staggering 0-for-8 from the same distance in Game 3.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted that he’s never seen anything like it.
“No, it’s a hell of a swing,” Rivers said. “I’ll tell you that. You know, it’s basketball. That’s why you can’t worry about it. He’ll be back in the gym tomorrow and getting ready for the next game. I thought he was pressing early on them and some of them, and honestly, i thought all of his shots looked flat tonight. I didn’t think he had any legs. I don’t know if the knee and the thigh had anything to do with it, but I just thought he was short on most of his jump shots. Of the 13, I think eight of them were great looks, and all of them were short, all of them were flat. It happens to the best of us.”
Both performances were surreal, but for totally different reasons. Allen’s inability to find the bottom of the rim just once in a game as close as this one was could very well be the difference in a series the Lakers lead 2-1 now.
Credit the Lakers’ defense for much of Allen’s struggles. He wasn’t playing the shooting game it appeared he was in Los Angeles. Still, there were plenty of shots that he just didn’t knock down, the same looks that he made with took and made with supreme confidence just a couple of nights earlier.
Like Rivers said, it happens to the best of ’em!