Allen makes right moves
With shooting off, he still helps out
For the third straight game, the Ray Allen who made a playoff-record eight 3-pointers in Game 2 was nowhere to be found. The second most-prolific 3-point shooter in NBA history appeared to be an afterthought. But Ray Allen the gritty veteran, the guy willing to do anything to bring his team within a game of a title, was everywhere.
Allen failed to sink a 3-pointer for the third straight game in the Celtics’ 92-86 Game 5 win last night at TD Garden, but in the wake of another poor shooting night, he had a full game of forcing Kobe Bryant into tough shots, a few hustle plays, and some around-the-rim buckets. But the biggest obstacle Allen may have had to deal with had nothing to do with shooting slumps. Two nights ago Allen’s son Walker was taken to the hospital with a bout of hypoglycemia, and the result was a restless couple of days for the Celtic veteran.
At about 1 a.m. Saturday, Walker, who has diabetes, hadn’t fallen asleep, and at that point, there was no way Allen could let him. Walker’s blood sugar had fallen far below a safe level, and Allen decided to take him to the hospital.
“As parents, we try not to panic, we try not to get unnerved, but I was speeding,’’ Allen said.
Allen’s son was admitted at about 1:30 a.m., and eventually the staff was able to restore his blood sugar to a healthy state. Allen went without sleep for the night, and was excused from the team’s practice yesterday.
“This is my job, this is my life,’’ Allen said of basketball. “But my family is my responsibility. I always have to take care of them.’’
Allen says his son is just as locked into the Celtics’ playoff run as his old man.
“He doesn’t like missing games,’’ Allen said. “Even if all the kids stay home, he wants to be at the games. He wants to wear green. He wants his toes painted green.’’
During his time in the hospital, a nurse asked what color popsicle he wanted. Green wasn’t one of the choices, but that didn’t stop him from asking.
“I said, ‘He’s in the spirit. He’s ready for Sunday,’ ’’ Allen said.
With his son in the stands, Allen returned to work last night.
A look at Bryant’s Game 5 line makes it seem like Allen was a victim of the Laker guard’s brilliance. Thirty-eight points is nothing to scoff at. But part of that line was Bryant’s 4-of-12 shooting in the first half. Nearly every jumper was contested, and with Allen’s hand in his face, many of them came up short and two missed the rim completely.
“If [Allen] didn’t do what he did tonight defensively, Kobe scores 50,’’ Glen Davis said. “He made shots for Kobe difficult.’’
Amid Bryant’s second-half onslaught, the Lakers’ superstar drove right and lost the ball as he elevated toward the rim. As the ball headed for the baseline, Allen, falling out of bounds, grabbed the ball and heaved it to a streaking Rajon Rondo.
Rondo’s layup extended the Boston lead to 85-75 and was one of the many instances of the Celtics answering Bryant’s performance.
Allen’s final contribution was more characteristic, but just as easy to overlook. With 18.4 seconds remaining and the Celtics up by 5, it was Allen who went to the line with a chance to solidify the lead. The career 89 percent free throw shooter made both shots to make it 91-84.
With the Celtics one win from a championship, and to the cheers of the Garden crowd, Allen was met by a familiar smiling face as he walked off the court — his son.
Robert Mays can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.