Despite what must be terrific pain in his left ankle, Ray Allen gutted it out and led the Sonics to a win on Sunday night against Charlotte, the Sonics' fifth straight win at home. In fact, according to numerous reports, Allen has decided to postpone surgery until after the season, barring any change in his level of pain.
And while my initial reaction to this news was, "Why?," after reading about bone spurs, it becomes obvious that having the surgery this summer won't impinge on the Sonics' success in the upcoming season. Recovery time - and this is a general rule - is typically 6 to 8 weeks. Assuming the Sonics don't make it to the Finals (I'm going out on a limb here), Allen could be fully recovered by July, giving him plenty of time to get ready for the season.
And that's probably exactly what Allen and the Sonics were thinking. If the surgery doesn't affect next season, and if Allen can play with the pain, then why not let him play? Ray's comments that the team might - perhaps subconciously - tank the season if he decided to sit out is accurate.
Obviously, how the Sonics play the next couple of months doesn't mean squat for next year (or have you already forgotten the 15-11 run to finish last season, that portended great things?), but there's no harm in giving a message to the rest of the team that their best player doesn't pack it in when things get difficult.
Speaking of packing it in, the Sonics will be visiting a slew of contenders for Greg Oden in the next week or so. But before you start penciling in road victories, bear this in mind: the Knicks have won 2 straight and the Sixers and Celtics are both working on four-game win streaks. In other words, the trip won't be a cakewalk.