Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/OMD After being held to single digits on the ..."/> Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/OMD After being held to single digits on the ..."/> Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/OMD After being held to single digits on the ..."/>

Inside the Celtics locker room: Ray Allen’s offensive struggles magnified in tough night for Boston


Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/OMD After being held to single digits on the offensive end for the third time in the series, Celtics guard Ray Allen seemed frustrated and a little bewildered as he met with media members after Thursday night’s Game 6 loss to the Magic. When asked if he was shocked by his dismal offensive performance, which included just five points on 2-for-11 shooting in 41 minutes, Allen couldn’t pinpoint which area he was most frustrated about. “It’s hard to really say what I’m shocked by, we lost,” Allen said. During the series the Magic have thrown several different defensive looks at Allen, hurting the all-star’s ability to get into a rhythm on the offensive end. “I try to sit back and let the game kind of develop and let it come to me,” Allen said. “Just time after time I’m sitting back and waiting and it never really does so I have to find (other) ways to have an impact out there.” The Magic’s strategy on Thursday included shading Allen with bigger defenders like Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard, to take away his ability to get to the basket. “The game plan is to stay with him at all times,” Lewis said. “He runs off a lot of screens and even if he’s coming off a screen from the bigs, we have to help, we have to start on him and then the whole defense has to shift over.” Allen said Orlando’s pick-and-roll defense worked well during Game 6, but isn’t impenetrable. “I know my defenders on me but now the big is out so we have to make them pay,” he said. “The big who they’re helping off has to step up and score and has gotta score fast. There’s somebody open, we just have to find them.” The Magic defensive strategy worked brilliantly during the fourth quarter, as Boston mustered just 13 points, while committing five turnovers and recording only one assist. Allen, who was scoreless in the decisive quarter, added that he could never get comfortable during the game because of his inability to get consistent looks at the basket. “I just always felt like they were sporadic,” Allen said of his shots on Thursday. ”I was kind of guessing a little bit.” Boston coach Doc Rivers said after the game that his team is forcing the issue on offense, leading to the turnovers and bad offensive possessions. “I didn’t think we showed any offensive patience for the most part tonight, and we have to do that.” Rivers said. He added that a of lack of patience on the offensive end could also be why Allen has struggled throughout the series. “Ray probably relies on offensive patience more than anyone on our team because we have to wait for him to get open and I think we’re pulling off him a little too early,” Rivers said. Allen said that he would have a better idea of why he’s had such a hard time scoring after watching the film from Game 6, but said that there’s a variety of reasons why he hasn’t been able to get going. “As players we do have to allow things to develop, we have to make each other better by the simple things (like) setting the screens,” Allen said. “You hold the ball for a second later and then the guys not open anymore. Things like that help our offense out and when we’re not doing it, it helps the defense out.” Lewis said that despite Allen’s struggles, the team will continue to pay extra attention to him in Game 7. “The guy guarding Ray Allen or Eddie House has to stay home, has to stay on him tight,” Lewis said. “Because all it takes is for him to hit one three-pointer and he gets himself going. He’s that type of shooter that he won’t miss at all the rest of the night if he gets himself going.”