Celtics faithful were rocked during free agency by the news their favorite son and all-time 3-point shooting champion Ray Allen was leaving them for the Miami Heat. The reaction was mixed with many on either side of the fence in regards to their opinions on the move. But yesterday a small, to the point message from Ray was delivered to his fans in Boston and, as has his entire career, it was simply class exemplified.
Welcome to another week of NBA Nation Australia’s Roundtable Discussion
Our @NBANationOz Roundtable Knights Are:
Nick Caro: @NickoToGo
Nick How: @Nick_A_How
Sam Monaghan: @Mono85
This weeks Roundtable is a Finals/Playoffs focused feature and we were lucky enough to have some special guests join us –
Jamey Burke: @KWAPT
Nick Metallinos: @NickMetallinos
Chad Smith: @BezerkerMPS
Coach: Doc Rivers.
Doc Rivers has quite a task at hand this series, but along with only few other coaches probably possesses what it takes to beat or at least disrupt the Heat. Rivers has been known for some time as a players coach, and has always been able to get the best out of a player through his great man-management.
Doc has famously installed a real ‘family’ essence in the current Boston Big 3 era with him also famously creating the genius of ‘Ubuntu’ in their Championship winning year of 2007-08. With this years Heat series, it’s obvious Doc will looking to shut down the duo of Lebron & DWade as much as possible. With the duo averaging 66 points a game between them in the Indiana series what is Doc to do to dry some of those points up? Well Doc is ideally going to need Ray Allen to bring his A game in marking Dwayne Wade and that’s where no.1 problem lies. Ray Allen is no way near fit, and in the minutes he had in the 76ers series was quite visibly not ready. Doc may have to finally utilize both Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic this series and will most certainly get a
fair whack of minutes from Mikael Pietrus who hasn’t quite been the offensive player they may have wished for but can be very effective defensively.
Expect Doc to play moments of zonal defense this series as it has worked in the past against this incarnation of the Heat. Defensively the Celtics are one of the best teams in the League but aside from needing to shut down James & Wade the other area which will be critical in any success this series is offensively. The Celtics will need to be clinical in their shooting and will be needing Rondo to be as aggressive as possible.
The Garden has always been a place that’s rocked. Celtics players especially Garnett have spoken of the Garden and the
Boston fans as being their sixth man, they can honestly gee this team up enough to pull of late, much needed wins. This crowd genuinely respect all players on this roster and aren’t only turning up for stars, which also helps Doc install this family element to this great historic club. Expect to hear some real noise when the C’s are at home.
Key Player: Ray Allen
Most people will be surprised to see Ray Allen as our key player, but it’s more of a factor of him NEEDING to be the C’s key player. Garnett & Rondo have been amazing in these playoffs, and have consistently been a nuisance. Ray Allen has still to produce this playoffs and yes alot of that comes down to injury but if he can shake this off in time, he could provide the spark thats needed offensively. If Ray can get his shot going it will not only take pressure off skipper Pierce but also Garnett who has had to dig deep defensively in these playoffs. Ray’s defence will also be key as drying Wade up could be the element that wins the Celtics this series. Wade has recently commented that Ray is still a big threat on the Heats radar and that they will not take him lightly, and so they shouldn’t. Although it may be a lot to ask of Allen, this what we believe is whats required if the C’s are to stand a chance this series.