Monday, March 5

Allen Guts It Out

SEATTLE - MARCH 4: Ray Allen #34 of the Seattle SuperSonics goes to the basket between the defense of Adam Morrison #35 and Matt Carroll # 13 of the Charlotte Bobcats on March 4, 2007 at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE via Getty Images)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.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

he has got 3 years remaining on a huge contract. He and the Sonics have the facts and will make the decision but from the outside this seems no reward, risk. wear and tear adds up. i'd cut those long warmups 3 hours before the game to 20 minutes. use the remaining mileage and greatness in games that might mean something and nothing else. i dont think playing now really has an impact on teammates, or sells more tickets or helps the arena cause or help get ready for next year. but whatever

Nuss said...

From what Hill has said to reporters, it sounds like Allen's not going to practice very much, and they will try to reduce his minutes as well.

You make a good point, and if the Sonics weren't committed to reducing his workload, I'd be against this idea, too. But if Hill keeps his word and starts tilting Ray's minutes closer to 30 per game rather than 40, I don't think it's a big deal. Brett Favre's played with bone spurs in his ankle for the past 5-7 years, which shows you can live with the pain. Obviously, running up and down a basketball court is different than only moving 5 steps back, but then Ray's a lot younger than Favre as well.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Hill's already breaking his word, then. Ray played 41 minutes on Sunday.

I'm not blaming Hill (he just wants to make the playoffs to keep his job), but it seems pretty stupid to play a guy 41 minutes when he's going to be having surgery performed in a month or two - especially when you have no chance at all at making the playoffs. Apparently, it's more important for the Sonics to get the 13th pick in the draft - again - then to save their best player for the next 3 years.

Just once, I'd like to see a guy suffer a major injury while the front office/coaching staff has it's head up it's ass about it's chances for success. Not that I'm wishing ill on Ray at all, but it just drives me nuts that he's going to be played 38 minutes a night for little gain.

ryan said...

As for teh playoffs, I did some figuring by looking at the standings.

I think the best-case scenario is that the #8 seed will have to win 40 games. Well, in order for the Sonics to finish with 40 wins, they'd have to go 16-7 for the rest of the season.

That's 7 more losses - no more. If the Sonics go 3-1 on this road trip (I think that's highly unlikely, but that's what some people are expecting), then they'd have to go 13-6 for the rest of the season. Consider that they will play Utah, Phoenix, and San Antonio ON THE ROAD in the next month and a half. That's 3 losses right there, which means they'd have to go 13-3 in the other games.

How good is 13-3? That's an 81% winning percentage, or BETTER THAN THE SUNS HAVE PLAYED THIS YEAR.

In other words, the Sonics have no chance at making the playoffs, and they're wasting their time playing Ray all these minutes. It's just dumb.

Anonymous said...

The best longterm interests of the franchise would be served by tanking the remainder of the season and getting as high a draft pick as possible in this Spring's draft.

Its insanely counter productive to play Allen and Lewis 40+ minutes a night to eke out wins that won't even get us into the playoffs when we have a chance to get durant (potentially greatest small forward of all time, judging by his freshman year at texas) or oden as a franchise center.

I love the sonics, but I want them to lose every game for the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

yes its very unlikely we will even make a run for the 8th seed. but with D-Fort coming back tuesday against the knicks (Lee is going to play as well) who knows what type of energy/boost he can bring...it might be negative but hey he might bring back some toughness to this team and bang down low with collison.

im hoping to see Gelabale get some run the rest of the season and keep ray somewhere around 35-38 minutes per game.

Anonymous said...

"he has got 3 years remaining on a huge contract. He and the Sonics have the facts and will make the decision but from the outside this seems no reward, risk. wear and tear adds up. i'd cut those long warmups 3 hours before the game to 20 minutes. use the remaining mileage and greatness in games that might mean something and nothing else. i dont think playing now really has an impact on teammates, or sells more tickets or helps the arena cause or help get ready for next year. but whatever"

they are twenty minutes long. ray allen is really the only thing putting asses in the seats at this point. but whatever

Eric Reynolds said...

I'd rather have Durant for the next ten+ years than the eighth playoff seed this year. I don't blame Ray, I think it's great that he wants to play, but I'm pulling for a high draft seed and wouldn't mind if the Sonics put Ray on ice for the season.

Anonymous said...

Sonics dream line up:

-Rid CAT scan indicates he has season ending injury (thus preventing me from getting a season ending injury banging my head against the wall after watching him miss one too many wide open threes). We play Watson big minutes at the point, getting even less offense from this position than with Rid (amazing that 4 million per year can't get us a FG% above 370). Disadvantage Sonics!

- Allow Ray to take the rest of the season off. Send him to Mexico to drink Coronas on the beach or something. Tell him to be a leader like Nixon, get tan and rested to come back strong next year. Give Gigaballer his minutes and see what happens. His current game reminds me of a 15 year old Kobe: entertaining and ineffective. Disadvantage Sonics!

- Collison has really proven his doubters wrong this season. Now its time to give some other doubted folks a chance. I don't think Fortson can handle the UFC next year. Lets give him a chance to prove me wrong by getting into a cage match with some of the Knicks. In any event, getting Collison off the court: Disadvantage Sonics!

- Give Shard his max contract with one condition: that he re-injure something -- say his funny bone -- and sit down for the rest of the season.

- Keep playing Weezy. No need to change anything for the worse there.

Now this is a solidly craptastic starting five. Just to make sure that we don't sneak a win off anyone, I'd release Brown and Wilkins and sign Mini Kiss to come off the bench. Hey, they may not hit the boards too hard but they have an intense demeaner that I think could do the team some good. The face paint and metal spikes are pretty cool too. Replace Hill with a trained monkey. Let the monkey draw up our plays on offense. Monkey + Miget baskball players = buts in seats from a marketing standpoint. Definatly.

Now that, folks, is how you get a draft pick! We're only 2 games out of the third worst record in the league! Carpe Diem '08!

Anonymous said...

on ray allen's pregame work another anon says: "they are twenty minutes long"

are you say you've actually seen a bunch of them? so you are an insider with access to arena hours beforehand?

Ray talks about them as if they were long , talking about getting his body use to fatigue so it sounded like it might be a contributing issue to wear and tear done 82 times a year, year in year out. but if they they are short, ok no big deal, and no reason for the media to talk of them beyond the unusual time because he doesnt like to share the court) and then no real reason for Ray to talk about getting his body use to fatigue either.

but whateva...

Anonymous said...

how much Ray Allen drives ticket sales might be an interesting question to have some data on. he isnt my main focus, isnt in my top 5 Sonics of all-time, isnt in my top 5 current players in the league either. i like him but he isnt exciting or that fascinating to me. he is outstanding at long jumpshots and a fierce competitor. but not driving enough, an average defender and not creating a .500 team. but whatever. got him for 3 years of pay. hopefully 3 more years of "great" play.

Anonymous said...

David Locke in Oct 06 said Ray takes 150-200 shots in his pre-game workout
http://www.nba.com/sonics/news/locked_oct06.html?rss=true
how long does that take?
if the workout is 20 minutes he is taking a shot every 6-7 seconds. it might be that.
ok based on time it isnt long. but 150-200 moves on his ankles and impacts on his knees 82 times a year adds up 12-16,000 times. how many shots does a normal player take in a normal warmup. i dunno if it is 50, 100 or more.

probably i just got the wrong impression. but my point was times have changed. Ray is a scarce shelflife star. Maybe they do need to change some things. Changing workout routine is less severe than calling for less game minutes. something i'd consider but hadnt called for yet because it is the last resort.

Anonymous said...

"Ray talks about them as if they were long , talking about getting his body use to fatigue so it sounded like it might be a contributing issue to wear and tear done 82 times a year"

he used to do longer ones (with more running involved) but it takes about 20-25 mins now. i'd say maybe 200 shots + free throws. it really doesnt take very long when u have people rebounding and passing to you

"how much Ray Allen drives ticket sales might be an interesting question to have some data on. he isnt my main focus, isnt in my top 5 Sonics of all-time, isnt in my top 5 current players in the league either. i like him but he isnt exciting or that fascinating to me. he is outstanding at long jumpshots and a fierce competitor"

true he isnt the same type of player as a kobe, lebron, AI, etc...but he is bascially the the main attraction at this point. with rashard being the distant #2. people that dont follow the sonics know who ray allen is, what he looks like, etc. they dont know too much about rashard.

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