Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shooter McAllen

The most exhausting postseason series since the 2004 ALCS has come to a conclusion and the ending, like the one five years ago, is a happy one. Celtics win and avoid the infamy of a defending champ losing to a .500 team in the first round.
Sportswriters and bloggers will surely cover every possible angle of this series ten times over. It was that memorable and historic. The big development for me as a Boston sports fan is this: Ray Allen is quickly becoming my favorite Boston athlete to watch.

Tom Brady would be No. 1, but it seems like five years have passed since I've seen a beautiful bomb to Randy Moss. When he comes back, the sexiest QB alive will re-take the top spot. For now, I've come to Jesus (Shuttlesworth).

After a pitiful Game 1 performance, the talk of Ray Allen and his playoff foibles popped up. I was very frustrated, too, but come on, did these people remember how Allen destroyed the Lakers in the Finals?

Well, Allen hit the winner in Game 2 and put on one of the best playoff performances in Celtics history in Game 6. He made the clinching bucket in Game 7, the three-point play on a half-court pass for a lay-up. There is no one on the team, Paul Pierce included, I'd rather see shoot the ball with the game on the line.

Ray Allen's shot is to shooters what William Shakespeare is to writers. His shot is a thing of beauty. A wonder of the world. It's perfect. When he's in a groove, the arc of the shot is flawless. The ball shreds the nets, makes a nice swish sound and doesn't even graze the rim. Scientists at MIT should study the mechanics and the physics of his jumpshot. The Smithsonian should put it on display -- don't ask me how -- for future generations to admire. President Obama, who has some skills of his own, should take videotape of Allen raining 3-pointers to the Middle East. We'd have peace there quicker than Mike Gorman can say, "Ray ALLEN!!"

I love watching him shoot. I can't put into mere words how much I enjoy it. It's akin to listening to a sublime concerto or watching a Pacific Ocean sunset. Think back to Game 6 of the Finals last year. He put on a clinic. He's hit countless game-winning threes in his two years in Boston. When he's at the Fleet/Banknorth Garden and vaults a 3-pointer, the crowd always stands up as the ball floats in a perfect arc like you're tracing it with a protractor, and when the swish comes the place explodes.

He might be the greatest pure shooter in NBA history. He's definitely in the discussion with the likes of Reggie Miller . What separates him in my eyes is the form and grace with which he plays. It's not quite like Pedro Martinez from 1998-2002, that was an out-of-body experience. But it's a treat to watch and I'm kicking myself for discovering it just recently.

With Big Papi a shell of his former self, Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra long gone, Ray Allen sits alongside Tom Brady as the two Boston players I can't help but watch, admire and thank the sports gods that they play for my teams.

P.S. I would have embedded some Youtube clips but it won't let me. I'll be damned if I ever figure it out.

1 comment:

  1. I always suspected you modeled own game after Ray’s.